West Wilkes played host to North Carolina High School Athletic Association newcomers Millennium Charter Academy on Monday evening in Millers Creek and reminded them how tough it can be to be a first year program.
Behind Jack McNeill’s five-goal effort, the Blackhawks easily sawed off the Lions, by a final score of 9-1.
The win gave the Hawks a sweep of their home and home series against the Lions and improved their overall record to 6-1, a start to the season the Blackhawks haven’t enjoyed since the early 2000s. West Wilkes added a 7-0 victory over Mitchell on Tuesday evening.
The Blackhawks got off to a quick start when McNeill scored from the right wing in just the third minute.
McNeill stayed on the attack, hitting a hard shot off the crossbar in the 10th minute from the left side of the box.
The Blackhawks were dominant for long stretches of the match, controlling possession and limiting any Millennium counter attack.
The Lions would finish the first half with no shots on goal, and never possessed the ball in their opponent’s final third. “We’ve worked really hard on winning the middle.
“The last couple of games they’ve done a much better job. Jackson Bell reads the other team’s play very well, he’s an instinctual player,” said West Wilkes Head Coach Wesley Golds on the play of the midfield.
Andy Garcia got on the scoresheet for the Hawks in the 14th minute when a Millennium turnover was fed to Garcia at the top of the box, who then hit a masterful outside foot shot that bent just inside the left post, beating the goalkeeper.
Two more goals from McNeill in the first half completed his hat trick in the first half and also give the Blackhawks a 4-0 lead at halftime.
West wasted no time in the second half, when Garcia would score his second of the night in the 45th minute.
In the 53rd minute, the Blackhawks would score on one of their few long balls of the night, when Omar Davalos got on the end of a long pass from the midfield and slotted it past the keeper, making the score 6-0.
By the 55th minute, the Blackhawks had begun rotating their players out of position and giving some bench players extended playing time. This allowed Millennium to finally enjoy some possession and cash in on their only real scoring opportunity of the night.
Millennium’s Jack Bevard chased down a through ball that split the West Wilkes defenders and scored, cutting the West lead to 6-1.
But West was not done scoring however, when just a minute later Davalos and McNeill combined to get behind the Millennium defense and McNeill put the chance away easily. Two more late goals, from Moses Reyes and another strike from McNeill, closed out the scoring on the night.
After the game, Golds looked ahead to the start of Mountain Valley Athletic Conference play against Wilkes Central on Monday.
“We’re going to get back to work on Wednesday and Thursday, hopefully tighten up some things defensively to get ready because we have a big one; Wilkes Central is a tough opponent,” said Golds.