Powerhouse Program Creates a Dynasty
The Summit Country Day boys’ varsity soccer team has won five state championships since 1999, including four since 2012, and engineered a reputation synonymous with success. The Silver Knights’ aspirations every November are to win the Division III state title match and hoist the first-place trophy.
The groundwork starts much earlier. The Summit launches offseason training in June with open fields and conditioning sessions, followed by a July team camp and summer showcases at Wright State University, McCordsville (Ind.) Sports Park and Bowling Green State University. Head Coach Scott Sievering takes different groups to each event to spread out the experiences and keep players fresh.
In September, the team makes an annual Labor Day weekend trek to Pennsylvania or New Jersey to compete against some of the country’s top talent. St. Benedict’s Preparatory School and William Penn Charter School rotate as the hosts of elite-level matches that prepare the Silver Knights for the toughest tests they’ll face. The season’s journey truly begins with this chemistry-building excursion.
The program objectives include scheduling robust opponents from all divisions and excelling in the Miami Valley Conference, but the primary focus is winning “the right way.” That means having a team full of student-athletes who excel in the classroom and embody school principles.
“Putting on the jersey means something. It means that you are committed to accepting the standards of high character, high effort, competition and what it means to be a student-athlete,” Coach Sievering said. “I want good people on our team that can play soccer. I don’t want soccer to be the only thing the person brings.”
The Summit’s proliferation of state soccer titles has increased the sport’s popularity on campus. That interest level, coupled with the school’s no-cut policy, has prompted a rare designation of two junior varsity teams. JV-A plays 16 matches, just like varsity, while JV-B competes in 10. The latter group practices only three days a week and is a good fit for those who wish to play soccer but have other obligations or interests.
When it comes to facilities, The Summit’s soccer fields are second to none. Matches are played on campus at Williams Field – which has lights, all-weather synthetic turf and locker rooms – or one of the two fields at Summit Athletic Complex on Ehrling Road. The Silver Knights have multiple options for practices, from Williams Field and the adjacent Thurner Field to the complex.
The program has prepared many players for college soccer, including Class of 2017 standouts Cameron Belle (Xavier University) and Erik Sigman (Drake University). Class of 2016 Silver Knights competing collegiately include Reilly Dowling (University of Rio Grande) and Charlie Maciejewski (Bowling Green State University), while 2015 alumnus Austin Smythe is at the University of Cincinnati.
Summit graduate Austin Berry plays soccer professionally for FC Cincinnati. The defender had a decorated career at the University of Louisville before being taken ninth overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. Berry, the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year, was traded to the Philadelphia Union in 2014 and loaned to South Korea’s FC Anyang in 2015. He signed with the United Soccer League’s FC Cincinnati of at the end of 2015 and was a co-captain in 2016.
Coach Sievering has been at helm of The Summit’s program since 2014. A multi-year Southwest Ohio Coach of the Year was a state champion in track at La Salle High School before his 1994 graduation. Although he was a standout cross-country runner at the University of Cincinnati (Class of 2000), Coach Sievering always maintained a passion for soccer. The longtime eighth grade Language Arts teacher at Loveland Middle School coached soccer at Sycamore High School for 10 years before leading the Silver Knights. His career record is 163-54-36.