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Davis putting up big numbers for Cross Lanes Christian

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There's no doubt that Kyle Davis could have chosen a bigger stage to showcase his skills, but it just wouldn't have been the same.

"I wouldn't want to play with anyone but the people who are on the bench with me,'' said the Cross Lanes Christian sophomore. "That's my family.''

The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Davis completed quite a season this past weekend, finishing with 51 goals and leading the Warriors to the West Virginia Christian Athletic Tournament boys soccer championship.

Davis tallied five goals in an 11-0 victory Friday over Mercer Christian in the semifinals at Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium in Coonskin Park. He netted two goals in Saturday's 8-0 title-game win over Calvary Baptist.

Davis scored 23 goals as a freshman last year and now has 74 in two years. He's also a starting forward on West Virginia's team in the Olympic Development program.

"He's a great kid,'' said Cross Lanes Christian second-year coach Russ Geis. "Only being a sophomore and coming and playing with some upperclassmen and trying to fit in and work together ... he's just a solid kid.

"I asked him, 'What do you think about when you play?' He said, 'I don't think about anything. I just go out there and have fun.' I'm just proud of his personal development, too, his character development and the young man and leader he's becoming.''

Cross Lanes (19-2), which was runner-up in a tournament in Erie, Pa., this season, proved its mettle with a 5-3 record against public schools. Davis tallied 15 goals and five assists in those eight games.

The Warriors faced five Class AAA schools that were in the state coaches association top 20, going 2-3 against South Charleston, Oak Hill (who was No. 2 at the time), Princeton, defending state champion Hurricane and St. Albans. The Warriors also defeated Sissonville, which was second in AA-A at the time.

"We're unselfish,'' Davis said. "We play for each other and not ourselves and that really shows on the field.

"It's awesome because we have 90 to 100 kids in our high school and we're playing triple-A schools and beating them or giving them really good games. It's really fun being the underdog and coming in there and surprising everyone. We can play with anyone in the state.''

Tyler Corbin has 41 goals for Cross Lanes while Brent Prudich, Christian Rohr, Josh Pauley, Jacob Dolan and Matt Cooper have also been instrumental in the Warriors' success this season.

"I think I have the two best strikers at least in single-A and double-A,'' smiled Geis. "We're very much a team. The guys understand that team ball is the way to play.''

Davis said his goal total has even surprised him this year.

"It just kind of happened,'' he said. "It really starts with the defense and goes to the midfield. Tyler Corbin, he's a big part of it, too.

"It if wasn't for him I wouldn't be doing what I do out there. We're both unselfish about the ball. It doesn't matter who scores as long as the ball goes in the back of the net. As long as we win, that's all I really cared about.''

Davis said it was tough at times this year as the marked man for the Warriors, facing double- and triple-teams.

"It's kind of physical,'' he said. "Sometimes [opponents will] bang you up pretty good. Just try to get in your head. You just have to play through it. There's nothing else you can really do. Just try to pass the ball and move, get open and whenever an opportunity arrives, just take it.''

Geis said the next couple of years should be special, too, for the Warriors.

"I think this is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime [team] in the next three or four years,'' said the Cross Lanes coach. "I think next year we'll be better than this year. We started three freshmen and had as many as five freshmen on the field. And a lot of these guys don't play travel ball. The other guys just kind of show up on Aug. 5. We'll give anybody a run for their money in the next several years.''

Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkinson@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.


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