January 27, 2011 7:54:00 AM
Kye Van Someren feels the Caledonia High School boys soccer team is ready.
The Confederates are rested after rain forced their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A North State playoff game to be postponed. They also have motivation after letting a two-goal lead against district rival Amory slip away last week. The team''s 4-2 loss cost it a chance at a district title and an opportunity to play host to a first-round playoff match.
But a clean slate awaits at 6 tonight when Caledonia (13-5) will play at West Lauderdale in its postseason opener.
"We have had a great season," Van Someren said. "We have made the playoffs and have to keep playing really well. Hopefully we can make it as far as we can, and hopefully we can make it to state."
Van Someren said communication breakdowns cost Caledonia last week in its second district match against Amory. The Confederates, who built a 2-0 lead, allowed two goals by penalty kicks at Amory. Van Someren said the Confederates'' awareness on the field wasn''t strong enough, which led to them leaving several Panthers open at key junctures. He said the team can''t afford similar mistakes the rest of the way if it wants to extend its season.
"I believe we will do good as long as we communicate well and play like we have been practicing," Van Someren said.
Caledonia coach Kevin Kugel agreed, saying his team has to do a better job of getting its center midfielders involved in the attack. He said Amory did a good job of controlling the center of the field and targeting specific areas. He said winning the midfield battle will be key again tonight.
"Communication is a key in any sport," Kugel said. "One of the things we have worked on a lot this season is getting the boys to come out of their shells and talk to each other. They have to understand what their roles are on the field and accept them."
Kugel said Van Someren, who signed a National Letter of Intent on Monday to play soccer at Itawamba Community College, helps organize the Confederates from his position as an anchor on defense. He said Van Someren''s ability to read the game and remain a step or two ahead of the action is key.
"I compare it to a baseball player who is thinking, ''What do I do if the ball comes to me?'' " Kugel said. " '' What are my options, and what is my plan?'' If the other team has a plan that shuts down his plan he has the ability to fall back on his backup plan."
Kugel said Van Someren''s speed and strength allow him to mix aggressive and passive tactics depending on the situation.
ICC coach Mike Sullivan saw those attributes in Van Someren and is looking forward to having him join his program.
"Kye has been a long-time standout defender at Caledonia High School," Sullivan said. "I am looking forward to him bringing those talents to ICC. He is one tough guy, he is fast, and smart with the ball. I am looking for him to come in here and compete for a starting job right away."
Someren had two goals and two assists this season as a center back/sweeper. He said Sullivan was the first coach to contact him and he knew early in the recruiting process that he would sign to play soccer at ICC. He said Sullivan projects him as a player who will compete for playing time at left back.
"The coaches I have had and my parents (Michael and Melissa) have supported me and helped me realize this day," Van Someren said. "I just worked hard and listened to what the coaches had to say. I guess 13 years of playing soccer paid off."
Van Someren and teammate Kevin Kugel will play in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star game next month in Clinton.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.