Soccer team has ‘great’ two weeks of practice before break, but group is low on numbers
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity girls soccer team from Grayling High School – a squad slated to start its 2018 season with a road game this week – has low overall numbers and an inexperienced group of players.
During a soccer game, teams field 11 players. The Vikings, going into spring break, only had enough players for a starting line-up with one substitution, and none of those players were seniors.
“Low numbers. Twelve players. No seniors. Four returning juniors. Four freshmen. Most of the team is new to soccer,” Coach Cyndi Powers said.
A few players worked on their skills during offseason sessions that included “open soccer during the summer and a few open soccer opportunities this winter,” Coach Powers said.
Official practices for the soccer team started on Monday, March 12. Coach Powers said the first two weeks of practice prior to spring break “were great.”
“A nice group of girls willing to listen, learn, and have fun,” Coach Powers said.
The Vikings had to practice indoors due to field conditions. The squad worked on fundamentals during the early practice sessions.
“Developing foot skills, proper striking technique, finding open space, passing, stepping to the ball – lots. With so many girls new to soccer, we really just want to develop skills and an understanding of the game,” Coach Powers said. “Success will be measured by skill improvement and an understanding of the game, not the score on the board.”
Coach Powers said the goal for the team is “to have fun and improve.”
“I really want the girls to learn the game, to understand how to identify and use open space, rotate coverage, encourage everyone, and enjoy,” Coach Powers said.
Coach Powers said the group’s strengths include “great team spirit” and unity and a willingness to learn and get better.
“Girls are willing to learn and try hard. We can laugh at ourselves, support each other, and truly try. We are a team and all support each other,” Coach Powers said.
The Vikings are hoping to pick up a few more players as the season gets going. The soccer team’s season opener is scheduled for Thursday, April 5, at 5 p.m. at McBain.
“We hope to encourage others to join us and hope there will be a bigger eighth grade crew coming in next year for numbers,” Coach Powers said.
The first Lake Michigan Conference game of the year for the soccer squad is slated for Monday, April 9, at 5 p.m. at Traverse City St. Francis.
Coach Powers expects strong competition from Lake Michigan Conference teams this year.
“Super strong league. Charlevoix, Elk (Rapids), Harbor (Springs), (Traverse City St. Francis) will all be good,” Coach Powers said.
The first home game of the 2018 season for the Vikings is scheduled for Monday, April 16, at 5 p.m. vs. Boyne City.