After summer workouts and preseason practices, Seymour soccer coaches Greg Musser and Matt Dennis are anxious to see their teams perform in a match.
Both coaches will have that opportunity Saturday when the boys host Jasper and the girls travel to Batesville. The JV match at Batesville will begin at 10 a.m., and the JV match at Seymour will start at 1 p.m.
Musser is beginning his 11th year coaching the Seymour girls.
“Brooke (Trinkle) played for me with some of the girls that graduated last year and the year before on that club team playing up. Kate Connell has played a little bit for me and (Nicole) Rebber has been in Columbus for a little bit, so they’ve kind of all got a different advantage point in different sports and different advantages to kind of bring to us,” Musser said.
Goalie Jessica Hougland also played some soccer in Franklin.
“Each one of these girls brings a different dynamic to the team, which is good,” Musser said. “Some are experienced, some are inexperienced. We have a real good group of girls here that are going to help bring the rest of the girls along for us.”
Dennis is beginning his 12th season coaching the boys and is coming off a 9-5-2 record.
“I think we’re going to be pretty strong defensively,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of good defensive players coming back. We’ve got a good goalkeeper coming back. I like the way our midfield is shaping up, so I think we’ll be able to keep that high defensive pressure that we’ve developed the last couple years.”
Dennis said Brody Unterseher, Will Smith and Sam Chandler are good leaders, which is why they are the team captains.
“I’m looking forward to making new experiences and just seeing the team grow from losing some seniors last year and seeing where we can go this year,” Unterseher said.
He will be playing the center-back position.
“I watch for the guy who has the ball and where his teammates are to see where his options are to play, and depending on where my defense is situated, then I communicate with them to keep them where they’re at and keep them contained and slow them down as much as we can before they get to Will,” he said. “Over the course of my high school career, we have grown on defense and allowed less goals through the course of play through the years, so we’ve been trending well defensively.”
Smith is beginning his fourth year in goal for the Owls. He is six shutouts away from tying the school record.
“I look for my defender forcing the ball the right way,” he said. “Obviously, shutouts aren’t just the keeper. It’s the whole defense combined. We had a solid defense last year, and we’re going to have another one this year.”
Chloe Auleman, Rebber, Maely Schrader, Connell, Delaney Delgadillo and Trinkle are the seniors on the girls team.
Trinkle is a four-year starter.
“I played left back last year, so I played a little defense, and I also would run up with the ball, so I play offense, as well,” she said. “I definitely like to play defense.”
She said scoring the first goal of a match is very important.
“Once you get the first goal, you can kind of relax a little bit. You don’t have to rush the ball up as much, but you still want to keep some pressure,” she said.
Connell said this will be her second season starting varsity. She plays on the wing, which is in the midfield.
“I distribute the ball and make sure there is someone open,” Connell said. “Communication is probably one of the most important things, but it is probably one of the things we do not do very well. We definitely need to work on passing and communicating, talking, making sure you know where people are on the field and make sure you know where you have to be. It’s a big thing.”
Musser said, “We’re looking for three or four new players from last year. We have seven mainstayers that are returning. We’re replacing a forward, two midfielders and two defenders, so we’ve got a good core coming back.”
Musser continued, “It’s going to be an exciting year growing and getting better, and I’m excited to see what the end of the year can bring for us. Our athleticism is pretty good this year. We’ve got some speed up top. You’ve got Brooke, and we’ve got good ball control in the middle, so we’ve got different things all over the field, so it’s a matter of us as coaches putting it together and making them jell.”
The Owls, 8-9-1 a year ago, will open their home schedule Aug. 25 against Scottsburg.
Smith, Sam Chandler, Emilio Garcia, Amir Morales, Unterseher, Alexis Villegas and Sotaro Miyagawa are the senior boys.
“We’ve got a lot of young players, but they’re skilled,” Dennis said. “I think as the season goes on, you’ll see them grow into their role, and I think we’ll get better and better. The varsity team this year is a nice mix of veteran leaders and we’ve got some nice, young pieces that throughout the season you’ll see them develop together, and hopefully by October, we’re playing some pretty good ball.”