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Ilion, led by Ward & Laymon, starting strong

By MIKE LEVIN

WKTV - The Ilion boys soccer team has never won a section title, but this year they're hoping to change that.  The Golden Bombers returning leaders include seniors Dan Ward and Nate Laymon, who are both big scoring threats.

"We've got really good possession this year," says Ward, a forward who has already scored eighteen goals this year.  "Once the ball gets to the middle we can play it up to the top good."

"I get the ball to Ward and he usually puts it in the back of the net, so we keep doing that all year round and we'll just keep winning games," adds Laymon, who has ten goals and eight assists.

Ward and Laymon also recruited two of their friends to play this year: keeper Dan North and defender Brandon Metz.  Both played soccer when they were younger, so they fit right in and have made key contributions.

"It's a lot of excitement and a lot of nerves," says North.  "Just go out there and try my best every game, go all out."

"Just hard work, hustle, that's all you got to do," adds Metz.  "You just got to take it one game at a time, just try your hardest, give it your all."

The Golden Bombers have a lot of key players, but Ward is the centerpiece.  In fact, this year he has a chance to set new schools records in both goals for a season, as well as for his career.  After Tuesday's win over Herkimer, Ward needs just nine goals to break the career mark and thirteen for the season record.

"Corey Rowland has talked to me as the season's been going, he's one of the kids that's helped me accomplish what i have so far," says Ward.  "Also had a shot at the record, but I think he's keeping me in a lot, too."

In addition to their firepower and leadership, Ilion also has speed and a positive attitude on their side.

"All the parts are clicking right now," says head coach Jim Mott.  "Everyone's rooting for each other, we have certain guys who are scoring goals for us, but everyone's happy with the success and that's what a team's all about."

If they keep all those parts in line, the Golden Bombers can go far in the postseason.
 

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