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Winters Mill forward Ben Weller scores Carroll County Times boys soccer Player of Year honors | Fall 2021 All-County

Winters Mill senior Ben Weller, who had a county-record 24 goals in the regular season, is the 2021 Carroll County Times boys soccer Player of the Year.
Winters Mill senior Ben Weller, who had a county-record 24 goals in the regular season, is the 2021 Carroll County Times boys soccer Player of the Year. (Dylan Slagle)

Perseverance and hard work paid off in a big way for Winters Mill senior Ben Weller.

After having his sophomore and junior seasons cut short by injury, Weller bulked up during the offseason and returned to lead the Falcons to a program-record eight wins, score a county-record 24 goals during the regular season, and now earn the distinction of being the Carroll County Times boys soccer Player of the Year.

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“[Ben] spent the offseason playing club and weight training to add some additional bulk to help sustain the wear and tear of how physical high school soccer can be,” Winters Mill head coach Ryan Lenz said. “He put in the work and persevered both physically and mentally, and it paid dividends for both him and us this season.”

Weller excelled on offense despite facing the opposing team’s best defenders and having a target on his back as a premier scorer in the state. The senior’s gaudy goal total included a 4-goal game against Thomas Johnson.

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His memorable season — that finished with 26 goals and two assists overall — also included four hat tricks, with one coming against Francis Scott Key in the team’s first county game of the season. In that contest, Weller scored the game winner in overtime.

“My favorite memory would have to be scoring an [overtime] winner against FSK,” Weller said. “It really brought this team together and was such a crazy moment. Fighting for the whole game and being able to finish it off was amazing for us all.”

Weller felt that victory over a quality opponent was monumental in catapulting the Falcons’ program to a new level this season. The senior said setting the program record for wins gives him a sense of accomplishment for his career at Winters Mill.

“Our team being able to win eight games this year was a major accomplishment and showed the work we have put in as a program to make more of a winning culture,” Weller said. “That accomplishment means so much as a senior and it gives me the feeling that I had an impact on the program as a whole and the upcoming years of Winters Mill soccer.”

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Winters Mill senior Ben Weller finished his senior season with 26 goals and two assists.
Winters Mill senior Ben Weller finished his senior season with 26 goals and two assists. (Dylan Slagle)

Lenz echoed the sentiment that Weller’s impact will last well beyond his time with the Falcons.

“I undoubtedly believe Ben is the best to ever play at Winters Mill,” Lenz said. “[He is] one of the best to ever play in the county.”

The coach was impressed with Weller’s ability to develop into a leader during the last season and mentor a young team that included many sophomores and freshmen.

“Ben took the underclassmen under his wing,” Lenz said. “Ben’s experience and mentorship went a long way in preparing them for the rigor of varsity. He also set the standard for what it means to be a student-athlete, as he excelled both on the field and in the classroom.”

Weller said having a close bond with former teammates and watching how previous captains approached the role of team leader really helped him create a strong connection with his teammates and that resulted in better play on the field.

“When it comes to leading, I just try to learn from the previous captains and seniors to see what worked,” he said. “Many of the bonds I have with teammates have been around longer than this season and some have been around since before high school. Those relationships are very helpful since they form the groundwork of the team [success].”

After suffering injury setbacks in the two seasons prior to this one, it would’ve been easy for Weller to take a step back from playing soccer. That was never a thought for the senior, though, as he trained harder to become an even better player than he was prior to the injuries.

“I really just try to train all year and have been playing competitive club for at least the last five years,” Weller said. “With a few injuries along the way, I worked harder to make up for the lost time and that also helped shape the player I am, going to a field an extra night a week to get touches just because [it helps].”

While his future plans aren’t completely decided, Weller knows for certain he intends to play at a high level in college. He’s not ready to give up that feeling that he gets with a ball on his foot.

“Getting into it, I experienced moments by watching Premier League and the Champions League that showed me the magic it creates and those feelings I just didn’t find in any other sport,” Weller said.

“That feeling of playing on a crisp night after a long day is so magical and really shows me that I love the game.”

First team All-County

Forwards

Nate Brooks, Century, senior

Danny Caparotti, South Carroll, senior

Ashton Stewart, Westminster, junior

Ben Weller, Winters Mill, senior

Midfielders

Sam Allen, Liberty, junior

Aydin Armstrong, Century, senior

Jimmy Gogol, Westminster, junior

Jake Hurst, Century, senior

Camden Larson, South Carroll, senior

Colin Williams, Century, senior

Defenders

Griffin Garvis, FSK, senior

Ethan Sandoval, Winters Mill, senior

Ryan Smith, Liberty, senior

Goalkeeper

Vijay Jetton, Century, senior

Second team All-County

Century: Carter Hobson, senior (D); Cooper Santos, junior (F). Liberty: Jack Brumbalow, senior (F); Jordan Devincent, junior (F); Jarod Kuether, senior (MF); Austin Wallington, junior (F). Manchester Valley: Carson Owings, junior (D); Dayton Siegler, senior (D); Ged Wilk, senior (D). South Carroll: Cole Anderson, senior (G); Garrett Fowble, senior (D); Westminster: Tony Kunz, senior (D); Carter Ruby, senior (MF); Winters Mill: Reed Posthlethwait, junior (F).

Honorable mention

Century: Domenic Arena, Tyler Powell; FSK: Liam Hartung, Kyle Kramlick; Liberty: Tyler Miner, Hutton Steier; Manchester Valley: Logan Haines, Austin Ray; South Carroll: Will Davis, Chase Fowble; Westminster: Jack Heefner, Josh Lindenstruth.

MIAA C Conference All-Stars

Brady Dillon, Gerstell, junior

Kirkland Kirby, Gerstell, junior

Jackson Quenzer, Gerstell, senior

JJ Weber, Gerstell, junior

Final standings

Century (5-1 county, 14-3-1 overall); Liberty (4-2, 10-3-1); Westminster (4-2, 9-6); South Carroll (3-3, 9-7-1); Manchester Valley (2-3-1, 2-8-2); Winters Mill (2-4, 8-5); Francis Scott Key (0-5-1, 4-6-3); Gerstell (5-0-2 MIAA C, 12-2-2).

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