Story by: Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos Courtesy Wetumpka High Soccer
WETUMPKA – Stephen Horn knows his Indians could have folded it all up before the season even began. Wetumpka High’s season – like most throughout the state – in 2020 shutdown as part of pandemic protocols leaving frustration and unfulfilled destinies scattered about the pitch.
Enter Stephen Horn, the new Indian Varsity Boys soccer coach: “I cannot put into words how proud I am of our guys this year. To come off half a season (postponed) and compete for a coach who they don’t even know (me) and to make the playoffs in a good division says so much to fans and especially the program. These kids are special and have a unique passion for winning. I am so lucky.”
That passion will be tested in the first round of the playoffs when the Indians travel north to Pelham to face a bunch of Panthers who are currently ranked No. 8 in the Alabama High School Soccer Coaches Poll with a mark of 13-5-1.
Horn: “Our season has been full of ups and down. We have lost some games we shouldn’t have and also been on a great five-game winning streak. Then, Kamora Thomas passed away and totally just brought things into perspective for our guys. It was a gut punch for all of us. She was a rock for both teams (varsity girls and varsity boys) and this season is for her family.”
Thomas played left wing for the Indians Varsity Girls team and was killed in April in a motor vehicle accident in Lowndes County.
Knowing the passion inspired by the grieving process – Horn hopes his team will continue to #PlayforKamora and use that to push this team into the history books.
Horn: “I expect our team to play their best game of the year and beat Pelham and move onto the next round for the first time in Wetumpka history.”
History has been in the making all year for the 10-win Indians; highlighted by a sweep of rival Stanhope Elmore. The Indians defeated the Mustangs 5-3 over the weekend to close the chapter on the 2021 rivalry.
Horn: “To sweep Stanhope Elmore for the first time is massive for our program, but more important for the culture we are trying to build at Wetumpka. We haven’t been to the playoffs since 2015, so this is a great opportunity for our seniors to show out and put Wetumpka back on the map.”
Speaking of seniors – the Indians have been leaders as expected but Horn also praised the play of Dawson Bouthillette and Brody Worrell, a junior and a freshman respectively.
(Dawson and Brody) have been awesome for our team and are essential to our success,” said Horn.
Wetumpka will finish the season Tuesday against Marbury and look to pick up their 11th win on a night where Thomas’s life is celebrated.
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