No team has more stars this year than the Greenbrier boys soccer squad.
Four Wolfpack boys - Will Dunaway, Brooks Duff, Bobby Zimmerman and Dallas Dickerson - have already signed college commitments. Junior Pieter James leads the team in scoring with more than 22 goals this season.
There's also sophomore Kyler Harden, who has become a strong threat to score or make the right pass. The starting sophomore has 10 assists this season. Freshman starter Hunter Norton has also put his name in the scoring column several times this year.
Then there's the defense.
In soccer, as in other sports, defense is that other part of the game that's not as exciting, not as flashy and doesn't get anywhere close to the amount of credit that the offense gets.
That's where Greenbrier senior Matt McCue feels right at home.
"I don't care about the stats," he said. "The only one I care about is a shut out."
McCue is the team's starting sweeper - a no-glamour job that receives attention only if a goal is allowed.
That hasn't happened often this year at Greenbrier. The Wolfpack have scored 87 goals and allowed only 18. That's a stat McCue can hold on to.
"We've got our big scorers and the guys who get all the credit," Greenbrier boys soccer coach Chip Warren said. "But Matt McCue is the unsung hero. If you watch, he's always the last one we pull off the field."
There's a reason for that. Greenbrier lost last season's starting goalkeeper Jonathan Shackelford to graduation. More than a strong keeper, Shackelford was the vocal leader on the field.
"Coach kind of told me our goalkeepers this year were not near as vocal as Shack was. He anchored the defense last year," McCue said. "This year I've tried to do that. Some of our players are more offensive-minded. I just try to keep them back."
McCue's efforts have worked well this season. The Wolfpack have an 18-1 overall record and are ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA and No. 6 in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The Wolfpack are currently in the middle of what they hope is a deep state playoff run.
Greenbrier will face Lee County tonight in the second round of the Class AAAA state tournament.
A win tonight and in the state quarterfinals might put Greenbrier in a position to face Class AAAA No. 1 McIntosh in the state semifinals. The Wolfpack lost to the top-ranked team in a shootout earlier this season.
"After last year we don't want to overlook things," McCue said. "We're trying not to look past any games, but we're looking forward to playing McIntosh again."
Tonight's second-round home game against Lee County will begin at 6 p.m.
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