CENTENARY, Ohio — Simply put, you gotta give these Blue Devils their due.
That’s because the Gallia Academy High School soccer squad, with easily its best season in program history, landed six players on the all-Southeast District teams — which were announced this past week.
The Blue Devils did enjoy a school record for victories in a single season with 11, as GAHS posted an overall record of 11-5-1.
Gallia Academy also captured its first conference championship in soccer, sharing the Ohio Valley Conference title with South Point.
Both clubs, which went 7-1 in the OVC, rallied from two-goal halftime deficits to win by one goal apiece on the other’s home pitch.
The OVC was in its first season of soccer as a league.
Finally, the Blue Devils defeated Waverly in a thrilling penalty-kicks shootout to win its second consecutive Division II sectional championship — the only two sectional crowns in program history.
Of the half-dozen Blue Devils, four boys were named to the Division II list — as senior midfielder Madi Oiler and sophomore midfielder Erin Lincoln landed spots on the Division II girls team.
Gallia Academy is a co-ed club, despite the postseason honors being divided into boys and girls.
Oiler also made all-district last season, as this year she earned first-team honors in Division II.
Lincoln made the girls Division II second team.
The four Blue Devil boys were all seniors, including first-team selection Isaiah Lester.
Lester, a forward who made Honorable Mention all-district last season, led the Blue Devils in goals this year with 34.
He was joined by second-team midfielder Jacob Ratliff — and by Honorable Mention picks Caden Wilt and Drew Hall.
Wilt was the Blue Devils’ primary goalkeeper, while Hall was an anchor defender.
The Blue Devils also received a Southeast District Team Sportsmanship Award — for having no red cards for the entire season.
Christian Brown of Chillicothe was the Division II boys Player of the Year, while Josh Thoroman of Miami Trace was tabbed as Coach of the Year.
The all-Southeast District soccer teams and subsequent awards are selected by the Southeast District Soccer Coaches Association.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106