Mitchell Christian/Mount Vernon boys' soccer team takes the field todayAfter a season that landed him on the second-team all-state soccer list, Mitchell Christian’s Aaron Lemon will have his hands full with more than just opponents’ shots.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
After a season that landed him on the second-team all-state soccer list, Mitchell Christian’s Aaron Lemon will have his hands full with more than just opponents’ shots.
The Mitchell Christian boys’ soccer team, which is starting its first year as a co-op with Mount Vernon, returns no starters on defense to help slow down opposing offenses.
Head coach Bob Lemon said many key players on the offensive side of the ball may have to help in the backfield to protect the net.
“We’re having to find people who have never played defense or have limited experience,” he said. “We’re trying to feel our way through to discover who plays those defensive positions well.”
Mitchell Christian/Mount Vernon opens its season at 7:30 p.m. today against James Valley Christian in Mitchell.
Coach Lemon said he expects there to be a learning curve with new players on defense and he hopes that Aaron Lemon can help the other players.
“(Aaron) has to learn to work with these guys and in a way train them,” Bob Lemon said. “Everybody has to learn new positions and he’s going to have to adjust to what they do and he’s going to have a little more weight on his shoulders.”
Bob Lemon said the team’s first contest will be a true test for his young squad.
“James Valley is top heavy with experience and they have players who have won a state championship,” he said. “It would have been nice to start with a team that we could have at least on paper been even with, but we’ve got to take what we can and learn lessons.
“We have a motto of ‘no excuses and no regrets.’ If they can play as hard as they can; win, lose or draw they can have their heads up.”
Coach Lemon said he will look to Ethan Cooper and Keegan Larson-Shields for leadership on the field. Phil Millar, a student at Mount Vernon, will also look to be a key contributor on offense.
With 18 athletes on the roster, Bob Lemon said he will be allowing many younger players a chance to pick up valuable experience.
“You want to give these younger players the opportunity to play against the more experienced teams,” he said, “but you don’t want to demoralize them by playing them against guys that are out of their league.
“I’m going to have to do some creative substituting but I think that the future bodes well if we can keep our numbers.”