August 10, 2010 8:44:00 AM
STEENS -- The prospect of not having any seniors would scare some coaches and players.
But Ray Campbell and his Immanuel Christian girls soccer team are looking forward to the challenge of building with youth.
Led by seniors Nyki Baudoin, Elizabeth Cook, and Katherine Johnston, the Lady Rams missed qualifying for the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools playoffs. Instead of being apprehensive about how they will do without those team leaders, Campbell and his players feel they have the potential to learn from last season and to come together.
"I have a lot more have 20 players on the roster and a lot more experience this year," Campbell said. "We have a little more depth than last year when it comes to subbing in, and I am excited about that. The girls are ready to go."
Immanuel Christian will open its season at 5 p.m. Thursday in Meridian against Russell Christian. It will open division play Tuesday against Indianola.
Campbell and the players acknowledge playing without seniors will be difficult. His hope is to keep the current group together for a few more years so it can build toward the future.
To help the squad mature and to give its flexibility, he said he will experiment with a 3-2-2-3 and a 4-4-2. He said the first system will give the team five players back in the box and three players up top to apply pressure. He feels the system fits nicely with the depth he feels the Lady Rams could have.
"If we adapt to it well you probably will see us run a good bit," Campbell said.
Junior Meghan Cooper, a center forward, freshman Taylor Baudoin, a forward/halfback, sophomore Taylor Kidder, a goalkeeper, and eighth-grader Haley Good, a right forward, return to help lead the way.
"I have a lot of players who have good potential," Campbell said. "I think if they do we will have a good season."
The players are anxious to show what they can do without any seniors. They said they have been communicating better in practice and working well together in hopes of having a better showing.
"I think it is going to be a great year," Kidder said. "We have a lot of potential and new players. We are all pretty good and experience, and we are all close. When you have a close team you usually work well together."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
butterfly205 commented at 8/10/2010 9:29:00 PM:
I think the Emmanuel Girls are gonna do great this year. Good luck girls.