It seems like we have been in pre-season for about a month already but then after watching the team play today it looks like I recruited players from the island of misfit toys. I am of course just kidding. It has been an exceptional training camp and the players, new and old have worked extremely hard to get us to the point of our first real competition.
We have stressed the need to compete during this
first couple of weeks: with yourself, teammates and this weekend with the opposition. I feel confident that we will rise to the occasion and play very well this weekend.
Our challenges have been very real. We have 11 first year players (I think some of them may have played before, but for others it may be their first actual year) and it is always a challenge to bring in a big class and fuse it with some tough and ultra competitive veterans. Our first year’s have been well educated so far and they have not even attended a class yet.
Our senior class has been stellar and provided a thoroughly enjoyable working environment for all and as the Head Coach I have to say it has been a very smooth pre-season indeed. Returning players came in fit and ready for the challenge of competing for a conference title and our rookies just follow along like minions eager to please.
First day fitness test saw a new standard as junior Olivia Hunter and rookie Kelsey Chamberlin beat the previous record set by Erin Harvey just last year. They were closely followed by Becca Morris and Caroline Peters and signs were very positive. I will refrain from mentioning the bottom of the list because some of those characters have since redeemed themselves and are now allowed to eat with the team and not have to rely on Tricia Jessee’s pizza crusts. It’s
all about improvement!
The week and a half has consisted of hard soccer training sessions, video breakdown sessions, lectures on “life”, great food in the D-hall and off campus at some of our favorite places (Franks and Blue Sky) Ice baths, treatment sessions for hang nails and twisted socks, individual meetings and progress reports, Croquet parties, ice cream socials, movie nights, strolls on the Chessie Trail, meetings with faculty advisers, picking classes advice from the veterans, off campus housing tours, upper division housing tours, and I am sure lots of other stuff that coaches don’t get invited to.
HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS/NOTABLE PERFORMANCES FROM THE FIRST COUPLE OF WEEKS. (not ranked in order of importance)
- Eight of the top 10 performers in the fitness test were returning players.
- The team has broken the record for the most strawberries consumed in a week.
- We have so far absolutely managed to be “all-in” every day
- Seniors have been magnificent. KP, Clem, Hollister, TJ and Nugget; thanks for a great start
- We are undefeated
- Chandler Wickers is a GNOME (oops) Chandler Wickers wins the Gnome! Typo….
- Caroline Hahn wears her practice gear the right way around all week
- Kelsey Jervis has kicked every player thus far and clearly has me and the trainer in her sights.
- Practice uniforms are really good looking
- The new fields are excellent
Excited to compete this weekend with this group and see where we stand and more importantly see where we will finish in a few months.