Girls Soccer: Road to State
January 25, 2017 • 218 views
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It’s a brand new year for the Bob Jones Girls’ Soccer Team. In July of 2016, the girls appointed their new head coach, Luke Oakley. Coach Oakley has previously coached the Freshman Boys’ Soccer Team at Bob Jones prior to being the boys’ head coach at Sparkman. He has brought a fresh game plan with a new perspective and strategies to guide the team on their journey through the upcoming season.
Tryouts were held in September to allow time for conditioning before games begin in February. During this time, the coach has already set goals based on the team’s performance during tryouts and conditioning. Oakley said that his ultimate goal for the team as a whole, is “to see maximum growth in the four pillars of soccer: technical ability, tactical understanding, athleticism, and psychosocial health.” He asked the ladies to give nothing less than their best and to push their teammates and coaches out of their comfort zones and to become even stronger than the day before.
This kind of enthusiasm has been an eye-opening experience for the team. Many players believe that this new work ethic and attitude will help them to be successful this season. For example, Hannah Earnst, a senior and captain of the team stated, “We are committing wholeheartedly and giving our best efforts. We have a different mentality that will be beneficial when games start.” This type of motivation only comes with trust and loyalty for other players. Coaches have attempted to create bonds between the girls by bringing them together in social gatherings on and off the field. Coach Oakley said, “We try to make players team up with someone new each day. We’ve also had some team social gatherings. These are the foundation blocks on which we want to build our program.”
Every team has its own plan to reach success. Jessica Glassman, a freshman, said, “I think if we stay focused on our goal and give it our all, we will succeed this season.” Over the past three months, the girls have been conditioning every day after school in order to keep up with their toughest competitors in Birmingham. Assistant Coach Tommy Byers proclaimed,”Birmingham teams have been very successful at the state level for many years. I think the two top dogs are Vestavia Hills and Oak Mountain.” In 2015, the girls lost to Oak Mountain in the first round of Final Four but have every intention to take back the win and hopefully bring the state title back to North Alabama for the first time in ten years.