WEBSTER COUNTY, KY - High hopes for 2010 Lady Trojan soccer team Story and photos by Charlie Hust Expectations for another great season is all WCHS head coach Tom Welshans can talk about when it comes to his 2010 edition of Lady Trojan soccer.
Welshans, entering his third year as head coach, has another loaded schedule and he feels his talented group of girls can not only compete, but win each and every game.
"Our mind-set is to challenge the best and put some notches in the win column against the Owensboro schools as well as in our region," Welshans commented. "We've been battling these tradition-rich programs now for three years and I really feel we're prepared to beat some of these 3-A and 4-A schools."
Webster showed signs of greatness last season with a five-game winning streak, including a pair of victories over Christian County. The Lady Trojans finished with a respectable 9-6-3 record and Welshans is predicting bigger and better things for his veteran squad.
"We look forward to improving on last year's results. We have good senior leadership and seven returning starters," Welshans continued. "We do have some key positions to fill but I think our strong freshman and sophomore classes will do that."
WCHS will count on four-year starter Natalie Green as well as high-scoring senior Keri Wright to lead the way. Both turned in all-district type performances last year and Welshans expects more of the same from the talented senior duo.
"Natalie is a fiery competitor, she won't back down from anybody no matter what school's name is on the other jersey," he grinned. "She, along with Keri, can be two of the best players in the region."
Page Little, just a sophomore, displayed a gritty style of play in her first varsity season last year and Brooke Ross, a junior, improved each and every match in her first year on the soccer field. Lauren Grant, just a sophomore, will be asked to pick up some of the heavy scoring load lost to graduation. She had several matches last year where she booted multiple goals for Webster.
"Page did an outstanding job last year and Brooke brings that athleticism that we need.
Her soccer skills really improved by the end of last season," Welshans added. "Lauren is very talented as well and we'll need her to be very offensive minded and aggressive at the net this year."
A strong group of juniors including Hailie Brown, Hailey Ford, Hillary Ford, Shelby Todd, Cassie Jones and Taylor Denison all earned a ton of varsity minutes last season and Welshans predicted their experience and skills will give the Lady Trojans the depth needed to compete at championship level.
"These girls are all working very hard and they know what I expect of them. They realize they can play with the best and I think they expect to compete and win against any team on our schedule. If they continue to believe in themselves and each other, we'll have a great season," emphasized Welshans.
Now eligible to join the varsity squad this season will be a pair of lightning-quick freshman that have led the junior varsity team the past three seasons to 13 wins each year. Destiny Starks and Shawna Welshans have dominated area jayvee squads the past three seasons and now it's their time to shine against the best varsity teams. Both have had great success on traveling teams throughout the past years and Welshans expects that success to continue in the fall of 2010.
Adding depth to the varsity roster will be newcomers Karla Castro (senior), Mary Jo Williams (sophomore) and Mercedes Haney (eighth grader).
The biggest concern for Webster's coaching staff to begin the season is the lack of participation from the county's middle school age groups. "I'm not sure why the girls in grades 7-9 are not coming out for the junior varsity team," said Welshans.
"We've had great success at that level the past three years but all of those girls are now moving up to the varsity level so that squad is wide-open for those new girls to come right in and play quality minutes. I know we have a tremendous youth program going on right now in the spring and fall, I'm not sure why they don't want to come and be a part of the up-and-coming tradition of Lady Trojan soccer. They're certainly invited to join us and come have a great time with this wonderful group of young ladies. We need those younger girls in the county to come out for the team and keep this soccer program thriving."
To add to the excitement, the Lady Trojans will be playing on their own field adjacent to the baseball field at Clarky Clark Sports Complex.
"We're just thrilled to have our own field and it's in great shape for a first-year facility," noted Welshans. "It's going to get better each and every year and I know this group of girls will do their best to make this (field) their home which means trouble for opposing schools traveling to Dixon. We truly have a home-field advantage this year."
Webster opens its season Aug. 16 at Third Region powerhouse Owensboro Catholic. The Lady Trojans tangle with Todd County Central on Aug. 17 and then host Owensboro Aug. 19 in their first match on the new Lady Trojan Field.
WCHS freshman Miquel Valequez displaying his skills with the soccer ball while helping the WCHS girls at practice.
Posted by Karen Klay Orange - iSurf News
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