The soccer season has only just begun and while the team has a 2-3 record, Coach Hamilton says, “It’s been a fine start.”
The season has started off with games against West Hall, Lambert, Northwest Whitfield, Marist, and Pace. Against West Hall, the team lost 0-2, against Lambert the team lost 1-3, against Northwest Whitfield the team won 2-1, against Marist the team won 2-1, and against Pace they lost 0-1.
“We’ve played some hard teams for sure,” says Junior William McDaniel. “We won against the teams we should win against and for the teams we’ve lost to, they’ve still been good games.”
On top of facing up against some tough teams for the start of the season, the team let me know some of the other challenges they’ve faced this season.
Coach Hamilton told me that all the rain we’ve been getting has made it a tougher season.
One thing that all of the people I interviewed mentioned was that even though they haven’t won every game, the team has put up a fight each game and doesn’t give up.
I asked Senior Cyrus Walls which games he thought the team played best in and he said, “Lambert and Marist have been the two best.” While Cyrus highlighted Lambert, William told me that he thinks the two best games were “Pace for sure, and Marist.” And even Coach Hamilton gave me a different set of games saying, “The two most recent have been the best, Marist and Northwest Whitfield.”
The fact that every game aside from West Hall was chosen by the team as one of their best games shows just how hard the team has worked so early in the season.
Coach Hamilton let me know that he thinks the biggest strength of the team is their experience. “We have a lot of returning players. A lot of players that have already had a lot of varsity games, and a lot of technical players.”
Cyrus agreed with Coach Hamilton explaining to me that because of the experience on the team, the team has a lot of chemistry. “We’ve become more understanding of what everyone has for the team,” he tells me.
William, on the other hand, thinks that the biggest strength of the team is “our drive to win for sure.” This once again goes back to how much work the team has put into every single game this season.
As for what the team could improve on, William told me that they could work on “staying positive when we go down.” Coach Hamilton and Cyrus both mentioned practice as a place of improvement. Cyrus said that the team could improve by showing up to practice on time.
Coach Hamilton told me that “We still haven’t figured out how to tap into the next level. We’re not a very good practice team. We’ve only won one playoff game in the past few years. We need to become great in practice.”
Cyrus let me know how the practices usually go. He tells me that they typically start off with twenty minutes of warming up, then they work on some sort of passing drill, then they do either a finishing or scoring drill and they finish up by working on something from their last game that they could improve on.
Coach Hamilton also let me know about some of the strategies and areas of focus for this season in particular. “Though we are experienced and have some solid players, we aren’t overly athletic. Our opponents are more focused on knocking, and we are focusing on the ball. Some teams just try to smash the ball,” he said to me.
While the team has had a bit of a rough start, their drive and determination forecast a successful season.