Blue-and-White: Dragons play annual match as tuneup for regular season

Warren’s Ryon Flatt (33) and Jake Funari battle for possession during the Warren Dragons’ annual Blue-White game Saturday, August 26, 2018 at War Memorial Field. The Dragons have one more scrimmage at Elk County Catholic on Tuesday before opening the regular season Saturday at North East.

The Warren boys soccer team played its annual Blue & White match on Saturday.

Players were introduced and the teams played a friendly game of soccer. This match marks the end of preseason and the grueling double sessions. It’s time to play soccer and the team is ready.

The Dragons have one more scrimmage on Tuesday, at Elk County Catholic, and begin the season against North East High School on Saturday.

The Dragons played Jamestown on Friday, and were not challenged with varsity winning 9 -0, and the JV’s cruised to a 10-0 win.

“The team is looking pretty good, but the coaches are always looking to “tweak” things,” said Warren coach Denny Flatt. “They are playing as a unit and making smart decisions with the ball. We have been really working on the importance of possession, shape, finishing, and eliminating unforced turnovers. The Captains Andy Beyer, Colin Blair and Griffin Suppa are very good field generals. Their ability to control the tempo of the game will be crucial.

Wesley Kiehl scored three times for the Blue squad in the annual Warren boys soccer Blue-white game on Saturday at War Memorial Field.

“There is time to speed the game up and a time to slow it down and they are recognizing that strategy. The team work ethic is outstanding, a lot of them played indoor and the spring travel seasons. Participation for the optional preseason conditioning was also outstanding. Their hard work paid off during the recent fitness testing. There are 28 players and eleven “maxed” all three tests and 23 satisfied varsity standards. The conditioning will be needed as we play 18 matches in a 45-day period. During one stretch we have five matches in eleven days.

“We need to stay healthy and rely heavily on our bench. We take every game seriously and will never underestimate our opponents. With that being said, at least nine matches look to be very challenging; such as, North East, who always has a good team, McDowell which we play them hard, but have not defeated them in at least ten years. We play General McLane twice, we split last year with them and they are returning seven players that were selected to last season’s region all-star team.

“We also play Bradford twice, who has almost all of their starters returning and it is always a spirited match. Harbor Creek has a talented team, we are looking to erase a three-game losing streak to them. We play Slippery Rock twice; and although we have not played them recently, they always have a winning season. The coaches and players absolutely love playing good teams and we learn from every match, and look to peak during the post season. We have nine home matches and invite the community to watch these players in action.”