Soccer teams face new challenges in higher division

Graphic by Kaden Bagwell

By Jaimin Bhagat – September 27, 2017

The girls and boys soccer teams will move up from Division II to Division I this year, hoping to advance further with previous experience and new members.

The teams will now play district games against Byrd, West Monroe, Pineville, Airline, Alexandria and Southwood.

The girls team has already begun preparing for their first scrimmage, on Oct. 31. The official season begins on Oct. 23 with tryouts for the team.

“We are conditioning right now every Tuesday and Thursday to prepare for the season,” girls coach Nick Thompson said. “Our first scrimmage is versus North DeSoto on Halloween at Cargill at 6 p.m.”

Thompson said he believes the season will be tough but is confident in the team.

“I am confident in the girls to play at their best no matter what the circumstances or obstacles they may face,” Thompson said.

Likewise, the boys team has also had a division change.

“We have also moved up from Division II to Division I, so this year is going to be a lot tougher, and the boys are going to have to work harder,” faculty sponsor Joann Crank said.

The team lost two varsity players from last year who played key positions.

“There are empty spots to be filled for goalie and center-midfielder,“ Crank said. “We are hoping that this year’s team can step up and fill those positions with ease.”

The boys have some time before the season starts on Nov. 13 versus Menard at Lee Hedges, so they have much time to acclimate the new players to the team.

“We have a lot of experience this year,” goalkeeper Robert Fenner said. “We just need to make sure that we can play as a well coordinated team and drop the selfish play.”

Senior Caroline Brakeville, who played soccer her freshman through junior years, believes both the girls and boys teams will do well.

“I believe the boys will do better than past years because they will have more pressure,” Brakeville said. “I believe the girls will rise to challenges better than expected.”