Soccer team to feature young group during 2021 campaign
Tue, 08/17/2021 - 8:39am caleb
Vikings to start season with home games vs. Benzie Central and Ogemaw Heights on August 23 and 26
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity boys soccer team from Grayling High School – a squad that started its official practices for the 2021 fall season last week – has a young group this year, and overall player numbers are a little low.
As of Thursday’s practice, the team had only 11 members – enough to field a full starting line-up but not enough to have any substitutes available – and the coaching staff was looking to recruit a few more. The squad was also expecting two foreign exchange students players to arrive eventually.
Last year’s squad was senior heavy. This year’s group has one senior, four juniors, four sophomores, and two freshmen, Coach Andy Moore said.
“It will be hard to replace what we lost. Last year we had eight seniors. We lost a lot of leadership and a lot of talent,” Coach Moore said. “The good news is we still have talent here.”
Coach Moore said the group did some work over the summer to get ready for the season, including 7 on 7 events.
“We looked pretty good for being young and inexperienced,” Coach Moore said.
Coach Moore said it’s a “tight knit” group as the players have played together in the youth soccer program and in high school.
“It’s a good bunch of kids. We all gel together,” Coach Moore said.
Coach Moore said the first week of practice included a lot of scrimmaging in order to determine positioning after losing so many of last year’s starters to graduation.
“Right now we’re trying to figure out where kids are going to play on the field,” Coach Moore said. “That’s my main focus right now till our first game. We lost so much last year.”
Coach Moore said he’s also focusing on instilling confidence in the young group.
“My goals for this team is we want to win half our games and compete in the other games,” Coach Moore said. “We’re in a tough conference for soccer.”
Coach Moore said captains of this year’s squad are returning varsity players Cameron Ketchum, Logan Cobb, and Bryson Cobb.
“We’re definitely looking to Cam, Logan, and Bryson for leadership,” Coach Moore said.
Coach Moore said the first week of practice went well.
“They’ve come ready to practice every day. They’re all willing to work hard, which is great,” Coach Moore said.
The Vikings are slated to open their 2021 fall campaign with a home game vs. Benzie Central at 5 p.m. on Monday, August 23. The soccer team will host Ogemaw Heights at 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 26. The Vikings will host a tournament at Grayling High School at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 28.