by nathan oster
Worland High School’s varsity and junior varsity boys soccer teams each entered play this week with 7-1-1 records — and two of the biggest contributors to their success have been a pair of imports from Greybull, Austin Frazier and Connor Petty.
Frazier missed last season due to an injury, but has come back strong in this, his senior season.
He has scored one goal this season, but has primarily been used to fortify the Worland defense.
“Austin’s very versatile for us,” said Ron Overcast, an assistant coach for the Warriors. “We moved him to a left fullback position this year, but he can also play center mid for us.
“We think he can help us most on the defensive line, but we’re working him more and more into our offense as well.”
Overcast said the entire Warrior coaching staff is new this season, and that the team put in an entirely new system of play. “Austin’s been great. He’s been learning it, playing hard and is a real asset to the team.”
The Warriors went two-and-out at last year’s state tournament, but hope to do better this year. According to Overcast, the team had a big conference game Tuesday night against Powell. With a win, the Warriors would inch closer to securing a berth in the state soccer tourament.
Overcast explained that the Warriors are in the same conference as Cody (who they have yet to play) and Powell. Worland beat Powell earlier in the season, and has yet to play the Cody team, which made Tuesday’s game all the more important.
The only team to beat the Warriors thus far has been Sheridan, which at the time of the game was ranked No. 1 in 4A.
Worland tied Jackson.
Other than those two blemishes, they’ve been perfect.
If the Warriors win their conference, they’ll automatically advance to the state tournament, which is May 17-19 in Sheridan.
Rest assured, Frazier will be right in the middle of things, if they do.
“We wouldn’t be where we are as a team without him,” Overcast said.
Petty on JV team
Danielle Warren, who coaches Worland’s junior varsity team, said her team’s only loss has been to Evanston.
Like Frazier, Petty has primarily contributed on defense.
“He’s a strong defensive player with an amazing kick,” Warren said. “Once he gets down his dribbling, and all that kind of stuff, he’s going to be a big asset to our team. But right now, he’s just a strong defender who understands the field and is very athletic.”
Warren said she expects Petty, who is just a freshman, to eventually become a big contributor at the varsity level. “I am excited for next year … we have a good group of freshmen, which includes Connor. And that is huge, as far as our program developing.”