- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
This year’s edition of the Comets varsity girls’ soccer team can be compared to a puzzle only partially put together. Head coach Sid Young and assistants Stephanie Lewis and Bob Mitchell have the task of putting six returnees and 13 newcomers together to successfully finish that puzzle and be a factor in the Western Valley District race.
Senior defenders Kelsey Thompson, Amanda Dennis and Angela Ditommaso return for the Comets, as does senior keeper Nia Brown, senior forward Krystal Childrey and senior midfielder Cianne Townsend.
Newcomers this year include seniors Shelby Hargrave and Ashley Burton, both wing midfielders, junior defenders Tracey Moore and Sheila Smith, junior wing defender Courtney Smith, junior wing midfielder Katie Morse and junior Xochi Regalado, who will see time as a wing midfielder or forward, according to Young.
Junior keeper Melyse Brown moves up from the jayvee ranks, as does fellow junior forward Trudy Thomas.
Sophomore Sarah Catron is listed as a center midfielder and fellow sophomore Becca Snead is listed on the roster as a wing defender.
Freshman Camey Reese will see time at the sweeper (defender) position and fellow freshman time Jordan Murray will be a defender or midfielder, depending on the situation.
With just a scrimmage against Heritage and a game against Bluestone to start the season, Young and his assistants are still assessing the talent on hand.
“The big thing is we’re trying to find out where to put people in the best possible places to help maximize their abilities and help the team,” said Young.
“We’ve used different lineups against Heritage and Bluestone,” he added, noting the injury bug has already bitten his team with the loss of Ditommaso to an injury.
“Our seniors are especially focused and are helping the younger ones understand what we’re doing, and the jayvees who played varsity last year have some understanding of what we’re doing, so it’s kind of a learning process,” Young explained.
There is experience at several positions, notably keeper, where Nia Brown is entering her third season, backed by Melyse Brown.
Melyse Brown may see some time in the field as well to take advantage of her speed, said Young.
Townsend has a lot of experience at the varsity level, while Thomas, Murray, Melyse Brown, Morse, Catron, Regalado, Young, Reese and Snead gained a great deal of experience last year playing for the jayvee team.
The team has lost quite a bit of overall speed the past two seasons due to graduation and injury, and that’s an area of concern at the moment.
“We’ve lost a lot of our speed the past two years and that’s hurting us a little right now,” said Young.
“We’ve got fair speed with Camey, Becca, Kelsey, Krystal, and Trudy, and Sarah Catron has some speed.
“The biggest thing right now is moving people around to find a place for them to play.
“At Heritage, only two people were in positions they played before, so we’re trying to get a handle on where we want them to play.
“Some of the more veteran players have some skill and have shown it during drills, and we have to find a place for them and keeping honing those skills.”
Everything points to the team preparing for the Western Valley District schedule, Young said.
“Franklin County and Patrick Henry should be the favorites, and they should be the dominant teams in the district this year,” noted Young, who may tweak his alignment as the district opener draws near.
“Defensively, we’re playing pretty much the same setup as before, and we may make some changes in regards to alignment for the district, but we’ll need to decide what to do,” said Young.
“If you’ve got people who’re fairly experienced, you can move them around, and we have a chance to be in the mix if we keep working and improving.
“If we play as a team, I think we can hang in there with them.”