Watershed Over 40 team brings home a pair of trophies

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Watershed Pisgah Brewing Co. brings home its second cup of the summer season in the ABASA Over 40 1st Division. Back row, left to right: Joel Lenk, TJ Toothman, Clay Heck, Thorsten Path, Bill Alexander, Todd Wilkinson, Matt Schwarz and Walker Ferguson. Front row, left to right: Tripp Kinnard, JP Kennedy, Page Campbell, Andrew Bednarzik and Ryan King.

It was a perfect summer for members of the Watershed Pisgah Brewing Co. soccer team. 

The Asheville Buncombe Adult Soccer Association (ABASA) Over 40 1st Division champions collected a pair of trophies after an undefeated run through the regular season was capped by a dominant performance in the postseason tournament. 

The team, led by co-captains J.P Kennedy and Page Campbell, is one of seven representing the Swannanoa Valley-based Watershed Soccer Club in ABASA league play.

"We were just coming back after not playing for a while because of the flood damage to the fields at John B. Lewis Complex," Campbell said. "It had been almost a year since we'd played together as a team."

Many of the players kept in shape by playing weekly pick-up games while the fields were being repaired. 

"We continued that through the spring," Campbell said. "We would invite some of the Montreat College players out and some of the Owen High School kids would come out and those games would be pretty competitive."

That approach paid dividends for the team, as it opened the season on June 4, with a 5-0 victory over Wizards Fusion. Watershed Pisgah Brewing would go on to outscore their first three opponents, 17-0. 

"We got some younger guys, who have been playing in the Watershed club since their 20s, who just turned 40 in the last year or two," Campbell said. "That made a huge difference for us."

While the team's roster got younger, other squads did not, he continued. 

"Some of the teams that have been more competitive over the last few years weren't as competitive because a lot of their guys are in their late 40s or early 50s," Campbell said. 

The additions to the roster and an aging division foes was a perfect recipe for a dominant run through the season. 

Campbell and his team outscored their opponents 36-5 through on their way to a memorable regular season championship.

"We all really enjoy playing with one another," he said. "We typically go out for beers after every game and a lot of the other over 40 teams don't do that. In fact, a lot of them come out with us afterward."

The on-field fun continued for Watershed Pisgah Brewing Co., which opened the postseason tournament with a 4-1 win over Smush FC. A week later, they earned their second trophy with a 5-1 victory over La Union in the championship match. 

"La Union always has a good team and they always have good players," Campbell said. "They actually beat us in a pretty controversial game in our last trip to the finals. It was nice to be able to come back and get some revenge for that loss."

Watershed Pisgah Brewing Co. will look to continue its rain atop the Over 40 1st Division, which opened its fall season on Sept. 17. Once again, the team has its sights set on keeping both cups in the Swannanoa Valley. 

"We like to have a good time playing and it's always fun," Campbell said. "But we're pretty competitive and we like to go out there and try to win every game."