Soccer teams prep for first varsity season
When Nathan Godinez finally stepped onto the pitch for Frenship soccer, it was a long-awaited feeling.
A year of nothing but practice isn’t easy on many high schoolers, especially when the first season of competitive games are only on the junior varsity level.
Godinez didn’t care.
“It was a JV game, and there was no one in the stands,” said the soon-to-be senior. “But it was still just cool to be playing in a stadium and have our colors.”
Frenship announced in 2009 it would add boys and girls soccer programs, but varsity games wouldn’t be played until 2013. Players joined in 2011 and were promised only non-district games in 2012.
The players wouldn’t play against another team until the following season.
“I can’t imagine practicing a year without a game,” said boy’s coach Eric Eugenis. The Tigers finished their first year of competition 6-7-3
Girl’s coach Gery Joy, like Eugenis, came to Frenship to start the program.
The girls were highly successful in their first year of competition — albeit against mostly junior varsity — finishing an undefeated 12-0-1.
“It’s quite a process though because we started with nothing,” Joy said. “We didn’t have facilities, really. We didn’t have any equipment.”
The first year of the soccer program was just a class, Joy said, and no cuts were made.
During that year of practice, players were identified and Joy started implementing his tactics to ensure a strong foundation for the program.
Joy, who previously coached girl’s soccer at Lubbock High, said getting the girls ready to play in a system was the most difficult part of the building process.
Eugenis echoed Joy’s sentiments, as he has not been able to employ advanced tactics and relies more on his players’ athleticism than technical ability.
Only five players from Joy’s first class made it through the first round of cuts this year, but it paid off with a 42 to 3 goal differential.
“Two years ago when we first started we were quite a ways off,” Joy said. “We’re closer now, we made a lot of strides this year in terms of getting our teams ready for this first varsity year, but we still have a ways to go.”
Allyson Rumfield, a freshman defender on this year’s team, said the defense was a strong point.
However, it didn’t move forward on the attack, as the teammates were unfamiliar with each other.
“We mostly stayed back because we weren’t really comfortable with each other,” she said, noting next year would require more cohesiveness.
Eugenis touted his defense as the strength of his team behind incoming junior goalkeeper Caleb Cothrin.
The team relied on a quick counterattack from its pressure-oriented defense to build its attacks, Eugenis said.
Often, inexperienced teams will need to employ such tactics until they are acclimated to the speed of the game.
“Once you start playing its do or die,” Eugenis said. “They figure it out real quick as far as the speed.”
Many of the boys hadn’t touched a soccer ball since elementary school, concentrating on sports offered at the junior high level. This also created some challenges when forming the team, Eugenis said.
“The boys just need to play together. They just need to keep playing,” he said. “Soccer is such a team sport that they got to get used to each other.”
Despite some of the growing pains of a young program, both coaches are confident they will field a competitive team next year.
Being in a five-team district where four of the teams qualify for the postseason doesn’t hurt, either.
“Growth in Wolfforth is tremendous,” Joy said. “There’s a lot of possibilities, the interest level is good, but it will only get better as we move forward.”
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