Boys soccer hosts alumni game

The West High boys soccer class of 2021 won 5-0 against the class of 2020 at the alumni game on the Ed Barker Field August 14.


Owen Aanestad

The boys soccer team stands while starters are announced before playing Pleasant Valley in the state championship game on June 5 in Des Moines.

After losing a season due to COVID-19 in 2020, Head Coach Brad Stiles and the West High boys soccer team were eager to play on Ed Barker Field once again with some former players.

Stiles started to send texts to former players about their availability for the alumni game from the end of June to early July. With many players showing availability, Stiles finalized the date of the game around the first of August. 

The West High boys soccer class of 2020 and 2021 met up at the alumni game on August 14 in a rare Trojans versus Trojans match-up. While each team were mostly consisted of class of 2020 and 2021 players, some former players from the graduating class of 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 joined in for the alumni game. 

The class of 2020 were geared up in the black uniforms while the class of 2021 had their white uniforms on for the game. 

“I think that’s the one thing that made the game legitimate. For the class of 2020 to get to put the uniforms on instead of just showing up and having a scrimmage,” Stiles said. “They were excited to get to wear them again.”

Luke Moenning ’21 scored the first goal of the game, which was later followed by a goal from Matthew McDonnell ’19 with roughly five minutes left in the first half.

English teacher Nate Frese and science teacher Matt Harding served as commentators. The commentators showed some humor by sprinkling some jokes into the game.

“We’ll finish this game tomorrow when everyone catches their breath,” the commentators said when the clock counted down during halftime.

The class of 2021 kept their momentum going in the second half. Owen Smith ’21 and Joey Kuehn ’19 each added a goal while Marko Migambi ’21 scored on a penalty kick late in the game. The class of 2020 became more offensively agressive in the second half and had opportunities throughout the game, but couldn’t quite capitalize on them. The game ended with the class of 2021 taking the 5-0 win over the class of 2020.

Although the alumni game may not have replaced the lost 2020 season, the class of 2020 players were glad to experience some sort of conclusion to their high school soccer career.

“I was excited to play again with my old teammates and to get to live the West soccer game-day experience one more time,” said Malo Charles ’20. “It feels better having some closure after having to deal with how it got ended short.”

More than the outcome of the game, Stiles believes the reunion of the former players was the highlight of the game.

I think the one thing that people didn’t see is that [when we handed] out the uniforms and had both teams in there at the same time, that just to see the guys’ face light up when they haven’t seen someone for a long time and give them a handshake or a hug,” Stiles said. “I think that was the most important part of the day.”