Winning the GSC title and 15 straight games, in addition to being nationally ranked in the top five are all achievements that very few teams can say they have done in a season. Last year, however, the Lady Choctaws soccer team did just that.
But it is a new year, and with it comes the loss of many great seniors and the gain of numerous talented freshmen. Following up such a historic year will certainly be tough, and with the suspension of the upcoming season until at least next semester, preparing has been even more
challenging. But MC’s head coach, Darryl Longabaugh, is glad to be back in a routine and is eager to get back to playing on the pitch.
COVID-19 drastically changed the offseason schedule for all teams. Longabaugh says it was “very hard in early August and September, but it’s gotten better now. It’s helped that we’re back into five days a week. Being out here on a consistent basis with each other helps a great deal.”
Even without the chaos that COVID-19 brought, jumping over the high bar that was set by last year’s team will be no easy feat. With this in mind, Longabaugh says, “We’re going to do the same thing we did with the girls last year. We want them to push themselves hard every day and go from there. If we do well, great. If we come up a little short, we have to learn from it and move on. It’s hard to bounce back from a season like last year, but this team has some good talent on it.”
With this young team, the upperclassmen know that they need to pave the way for the freshmen and show them what it takes for them to be successful in the future. Senior Emily McNair knows that they are “a young team, but we had some really good freshmen come in and some transfers, and we’re excited about really growing this year. We’re expecting them [the
newcomers] to come in here and get going with the culture of this team. We are known to work hard, and I think that they’re really adapting to that, so we’re just hoping that they jump right in and see how hard we work and just mimic that.”
So even with this young team, the seniors have lots of talent, and the freshmen that have just joined will immediately make an impact when the season starts once again for the Lady Choctaws soccer team. Although the expectations are astronomically high for the upcoming year,
the team is training hard and cannot wait to start playing once again.