Soccer is under way in Liberty Hill, as both the Boys Head Coach Darren Bauer and Girls Head Coach Kelsey Quinn set their final rosters for the “unofficial” season.
The teams held their first after-school practices Dec. 2 and have been focusing on team-building drills to prepare for their first scrimmages.
The first scrimmage for both teams will be against Wimberley at Panther Stadium on Dec. 30. The boys will play at 1 p.m. and the girls game will be played at 3 p.m. immediately following the boys game.
“We’ve been focusing on building team unity and letting the players get a chance to know everyone,” said Girls Coach Kelsey Quinn. “Our goal is to get them working together on and off the field. Right now we’re working on getting everyone’s position figured out.”
The coaches have focused on team drills, like offense vs. defense and full-field drills over the last week. They’ve also worked on moving the ball with short passes and shooting on goal.
Coach Quinn said she has girls on the final roster that vary on skill level and experience.
“About 75 percent (of the girls) have good experience and have played before,” Quinn said. “I have a couple of girls that haven’t played before, but are really athletic and have shown a lot of progression from August.”
For the girls final roster, Coach Quinn chose 23 names. Team members are Morgan Bieda, Tabitha Bowles, Ciara DeBusk, Cassidy Drake, Emily Finfrock, Chelsea Franks, Emma Hofmann, Rae Jordan, McKinzey King, Brooke Landry, Skyler Larkin, Shelbi Lewis, Clarissa Lloyd, Kaitlyn Peterson, Elisia Romero, Grace Russo, Dakota Spencer, Avery Stratton, Maddi Strickland, Alex Svetlik, Payton Swieczkowski, Tayler Walter and Hannah Wright.
“About 50 percent of these girls are playing outside of high school at a club or recreational level,” Quinn said. “And even though these are just scrimmages we have the mindset that we want to win. We’re the new kids on the block and we should be a solid team.”
For the boys team, Coach Bauer has found a group of players that he enjoys coaching.
“These guys out here will work their butts off for you,” Bauer said. “They will work as hard as you ask them to and there are hardly any complaints whatsoever. That’s usually the hardest skill-set to come by and that’s the easiest skill-set that I have here.”
Soccer is a very physical sport that requires the players to be in shape and run for 90 minutes non-stop. That’s the biggest challenge that Coach Bauer has run into so far and hopes to get his players in game shape before their first scrimmage Dec. 30.
“The biggest thing I’m facing is that a lot of these players haven’t played organized soccer,” he said. “We’re trying to get them up to speed with how fast play is going to be. And teaching them how much harder they’re going to get hit on the ball with the quality that we’ll be facing in the scrimmages.
Some of Bauer’s players are playing on club teams in Austin and have experience that will help other players that haven’t played organized soccer get better.
“The great thing about being close to Austin, is that there is a ton of interest there,” he said. “The players that are also playing on clubs in Austin and getting some good practice here as well. A lot of my guys that are on clubs are young too, 9th and 10th graders. So in a couple of years we’ll have some great leadership and experienced players.”
Those chosen for the boys soccer team are Jack Brewer, Shane Burnett, Bryson Carroll, Dawson Carroll, Garrett Cummins, Slade Cummins, Jarod Dixon, Mason Dube, Nicholas Edel, Cameron Ellis, Reed Faulk, Alex Guerrero, Bo Hanson, Caleb Hanson, Joey Kipfer, AP Maare, Clayton Nance, Omar Perez,
Robinson Placek, Lucas Rizzotto, Marcus Rocha, Gio Salazar, Joseph Serio, Pedro Silva, Kale Sudderth, Taylor Tolley and Tyler Turner.