Bainbridge soccer teams ready to take to the field for 2016 season
Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The Bainbridge High School boys and girls’ varsity soccer teams open their season on Tuesday, Feb. 9th, in Dothan, against the Northview High School. The Bearcats went 11-7 (7-3 in region) last season before losing in the first round of the state playoffs. The Lady Cats went 10-8 and earned a berth in the state playoffs.
The Lady Cats return several key contributors from last season’s team, but according to head Coach Chip Ariail depth may be an issue early in the season as they introduce new players.
“Right now we have had a good conditioning period and are in the process of evaluating our depth, as we have had many new faces come out,” Ariail said.
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Gone from last year’s team due to graduation, are 1st-team All-Region Player Rebecca Mulkey, 2nd-team All-region midfielder Jennifer Beccera, along with tough defender Lilly Gomez an honorable mention selection, and a versatile player in Honorina Barrios. Also unable to participate this season is sophomore 2nd-team All-region goalkeeper, Morgan Cannon, who is rehabbing from an injury.
“Developing quality depth on the field as well as consistency at the Keeper position will be two of our key areas early on to work on,” Ariail said. “Several of the newer girls have shown glimpses of skill, and hopefully through the learning process will continue to develop as a player throughout the season.”
With the key departures, early in the season the Lady Bearcats will lean heavily on the experience of seniors Derrical Williams, Tameria Stubbs, and Jasmine Taylor, along with juniors Haley Thompson, Summer Boyd, Elizabeth Brinson, and Aida Diaz. Sophomore Mary Mercer Reynolds also returns with significant varsity experience.
The Bearcats will be tasked with replacing central defender Alex Wood from last year’s team.
“This year’s team is loaded with juniors and seniors,” assistant coach Jamie Ard said. “It is an older team.”
Ard said he expects key contributions from goalkeeper Bryce Williams, defenders Corey Morrison and Lerone Broadnax and forward J.C. Castro.
“I am looking for Williams to build on his experience last year,” Ard sadi. “I am looking for Morrison and Broadnax to contribute on the backline of the defense. J.C. Castro, I am looking for him to score some goals for us.”
The Bearcats are also expecting contributions from freshmen Caleb Harris and Angel Bonilla as well as senior Bennett Enfinger who is new to the team.
The team’s goal early in the season is to make adjustments and work to figure out who they are as team. In the end team’s sight is set on a winning a state championship.
“The goal every year is to win a state championship,” Ard said. “Anything less than a state championship is a disappointment. If you aren’t in it to win a championship why are you in it at all.”