MHS boys' soccer team is young, but has 'lots of potential'
This fall, for the first time in eight years, Mitchell Christian High School will field its own boys' soccer team instead of co-oping with Mitchell High School.
Former Mitchell United head coach Bob Lemon will coach the MCHS team, which starts its season tonight against Groton. The game will be played at 5 p.m. in Groton.
Lemon previously coached the Mitchell Christian soccer team from 1993-2000. He then coached United for its first five years of existence.
There are 22 kids out for the team this season and 12 are brand new to the game of soccer. Lemon said he's OK with that, though.
"It holds a lot of potential," he said. "Many of the kids are very athletic, and they're all willing to put out extra effort."
Despite coaching for many years, Lemon has only coached two of the players on the team: his two sons. Scott, a freshman, started for United last season. Tyler Jacquot, another United starter, will also play for MCHS and is expected to hold a leadership role on the team.
Jacquot plays in the defensive backfield for the Eagles, which Lemon said should be the team's strength.
The offensive unit, however, lacks experience, and Lemon explained the young players will have to adjust to playing high school soccer in order for their offense to be effective.
Adjusting to a new, younger team will be an adjustment for Lemon. He said it will be an instructional year more than anything for everyone, including himself.
"I'll have to remind myself just how young the team is at times," Lemon said. "We're going to have to take it step by step and measure success at little bits of time."
One school that is a model of how a team builds its players, Lemon said, is Freeman Academy. He explained it could be one of the few powerhouses in Class A this year, and has a strong group of seniors.
"I told our guys that Freeman Academy is my model team," Lemon said. "They did everything right and improve each year. When their seniors were young, they took their hits. I hope they're something we can emulate in what they have done. I tell our kids to hang in there because in two or three years, we could be a Freeman Academy."
Wins and losses will not be nearly as important as being competitive to Lemon this year. He said he wants the players to become students of the game and learn on the field.
"I want to know our guys will never quit," he said. "I want from the beginning whistle to the end whistle for the kids to play as hard as they can."