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VHSCA All-Star Game
East's Michael Scruggs of Lafayette goes for the ball against West's Adam Roscioli of Jefferson Forest. Photo by Diane Cebula/Daily Press
Soccer all-stars having a ball
By Jeff Cunningham | firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWPORT NEWS -- Mike Scruggs is all about having fun this week.
Don't misconstrue: He and his East teammates wanted to win Tuesday night's Virginia High School Coaches Association boys soccer all-star game at Christopher Newport University.
As the rain poured down on Captains Field, the Lafayette graduate was having fun. As he watched East MVP and Tabb product Anthony Han score the game-winning goal nearly 10 minutes into the match, he was having fun.
And, partly because the East won 2-0, he was having fun even as he missed a late shot from about 25 yards away.
He was one-on-one with West goalkeeper Aaron Humphreys, an ideal scenario for just about any shooter, but the shot slid wide right of the net.
He had fun.
"There's a stress relief to it, gives you a nice bit of closure," Scruggs said of his all-star experience.
Jamestown's Chris Miller added the second goal from point-blank range at the 18:34 mark of the first half.
Scruggs was a scoring force for the Rams, putting up 34 goals and 16 assists.
His totals were good enough to nab him not only first-team Bay Rivers District honors, but first-team Group AA state honors as well.
So after all the hard work, Scruggs has been kicking it this week … so to speak.
"(The all-star game's) a nice way to conclude high school, sort of put an end to that chapter," he said. "Just fun to come out and play with a few guys I've called competitors over the years and a few other guys I've never faced before."
Three of those guys were once district rivals, only to find themselves on the same side of the pitch this week: Miller and Tabb teammates Han and Brian Sowell.
"I won't say I'm glad I'm not playing against those guys this time around," Scruggs said, "because playing against them is a lot of fun, but it's nice to have them on my side."
Even as he spoke of just having fun after Tuesday's team practice, Scruggs was interrupted by a few teammates hollering about winning the game.
He said there was the desire to win -- "make no mistake," he cautioned – but more than anything he just wanted to have a good time, unwind following the stresses of the season.
And with the high school season being in the spring and the college season being in the fall, Scruggs said he was also kind of looking at the VHSCA game as a tune-up for his freshman season.
Scruggs will play at Division II West Virginia Wesleyan in the fall, and despite the quick turnaround between the seasons, he she's glad to have this tune-up before heading to campus next month.
"It's more exposure to high-quality players," he said. "In that regard, it's like a tune-up for college, lets me get another game in.
"But I'm just out here to have fun. I'm having a ball doing this."
EAST 2, WEST 0
Halftime--East 2-0. Goals--East, Han, Miller. Assists--East, Stowe, Johnston. Saves--East, Manahan 2,
Sowell 1. West, Doyle 2, Humphries 1. Shots--West 21, East 11.
Re: VHSCA All-Star Game
If you would like to purchase a video of the VHSCA All-Star Soccer game played earlier this month, please visit the VirginiaPreps Soccer message boards for contact info. The video sells for $25.
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