Few in southern Indiana commanded the midfield like Brantley Adams.

On the pitch, the senior served as Seymour’s field general.

Whether he thwarted the opposition’s attack, or made the first pass to move the Owls’ offense, Adams often held a variety of responsibilities.

As the holding midfielder, his main role was to keep track of the competition’s strongest scorer.

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While he didn’t stuff the stat sheet, Adams’ play proved critical as the Owls finished with a school record 12 wins.

“It’s probably the most important position on the field,” Seymour coach Matt Dennis said. “Defensively, he’s the guy who is in charge of organizing the midfield. There were plenty of targets that we saw that were dangerous. Brantley was in charge of frontal-defending them. He made sure that our back line didn’t have to do as much defending. He kept track of the ball in the midfield and the attacker behind.

“Once we won the ball, his job is to start the attack. It’s truly a both-ways position. When you get someone who can do it really well, it makes the rest of the team that much better.”

With all his efforts on the season, The Tribune has named Adams the 2016 Jackson County boys soccer player of the year.

Coming into the season, Adams took over at the six position for The Tribune’s 2015 player of the year, Kyle Jones.

He went from playing as an attacking midfielder to a defensive-minded mid.

“This year, I felt like my biggest role was to shut down opposing team’s key players,” Adams said. “My biggest job was to keep them off the score sheet. Griffin Sciarra and I took control of their offense in the middle. I always tried to set up the first pass on the attack after that.”

The Owls started of the season 5-0, giving up two goals while scoring 15.

By the end of the season, Seymour had given up just 13 goals while scoring 41.

Over the 16 games, the Owls shut out their opponents nine times with stout defense.

Adams listed defeating Columbus East and winning the Hoosier Hills Conference outright — the first time ever for Seymour — as the biggest highlights of 2016.

“Winning the O Cup (vs. East) was probably the biggest accomplishment we had,” he said. “The HHC was important with how many games we won, but the O Cup was something special. I’ve played with those Columbus kids for a long time, so it was nice beat them.”

Adams said that the successes this season were a total team effort.

“This year, our biggest key in succeeding was listening to coach,” he said. “We had a great group of guys who were team-oriented. We really listened and brought it.”

Dennis said that three things made Adams tough: his IQ, length (at 6-foot-1) and footwork.

“(Adams) has one of the highest soccer IQs that we’ve had,” he said. “He wasn’t just aware of our system of play but the opponents system of play.

He also has a lot of length. It’s very tough to get by him. Guys would try to get around him and they couldn’t. Then, you add in his foot-skills. It’s one thing to know what to do with the ball, but another to execute. He’s silky-smooth, but nothing fancy.”

He scored two goals (Shawe Memorial, Brown County) and added one assist by the season’s end.

At the season’s end, Adams made the All-District 5, Academic All-State and All-HHC teams on top of earning the team’s MVP and midfielder of the year honors.

“A lot more people recognize it’s not necessarily the ones on the score sheet that do a lot of the work,” Dennis said. “When you see guys winning 50-50 balls, organizing the midfield and communicating you see how important that talent it.”

On Nov. 19, Adams will play in the district showcase before finding out if he will receive All-State honors the following day.

While he’s unsure if he will play in college, Adams is exploring the possibility of continuing his career.

“If he wants to (play in college), he can,” Dennis said. “One of the things I love about my team is that they recognize we’re not building Major League Soccer players. We’re building human beings. We put them in great spots on the field and will test their character and create some good citizenship. Everyone is supportive of whatever he does.”

At a glance

2016 Jackson County boys soccer Player of the Year

Brantley Adams, Seymour, Senior (midfield)

Goals: 2

Assists: 1

Honors: All-District 5, Academic All-State and All-HHC teams on top of earning the team’s MVP and midfielder of the year honors, will play in District 5 showcase for more state honors.

2016 All-County team

Joining Brantley Adams on the 2016 All-Jackson County boys soccer team are:

Mason Pottschmidt, Seymour, Senior (midfield, forward)

Goals: 5

Assists: 5

Honors: All-Hoosier Hills Conference second team.

Griffin Sciarra, Seymour, Senior (defense)

Honors: All-HHC, SHS Defender of the Year.

Daniel Hartman, Seymour, Sophomore (forward)

Goals: 11

Assists: 1

Honors: All-HHC, SHS Attacker of the Year.

Elliott Clark, Seymour, Junior (goalkeeper)

Goal saves: 33

Shutouts: 7

Honors: All-HHC, All-District 5 second team.

Zach Moore, Seymour, Junior (defense)

Goals: 3

Honors: All-HHC second team.

Ethan Greene, Seymour, Junior (defense)

Goals: 3

Assists: 5

Honors: All-HHC second team.

Brayan Morales, Seymour, Junior (midfield)

Goals: 3

Assists: 4

Honors: All-HHC second team.

Renato Castillo, Seymour, Senior (midfield)

Goals: 2

Assists: 6

Noah Criswell, Trinity Lutheran, Junior (midfield, defense)

Goals: 1

Assists: 2

Kohei Nagino, Trinity Lutheran, Sophomore (midfield, defense)

Goals: 5

Assists: 2

Andrew Emily, Trinity Lutheran, Junior (defense)

Goals: 2

Assists: 1

Honorable mention

Cole Fosbrink, Seymour, Sophomore

Evan Baulre, Seymour, Sophomore

Tyler Penegar, Seymour, Sophomore

Carter Wait, Seymour, Junior

AJ Goecker, Trinity Lutheran, Sophomore

Jacob Keith, Trinity Lutheran, Sophomore

Sam Hayes, Trinity Lutheran, Junior

Author photo
Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.