There’s more than one kind of football that’s just around the corner.
The Middlesboro girls’ soccer team held their first practice at the high school Tuesday afternoon. With just about everybody back from last year’s team, the Lady Jackets will field their most experienced roster in several years in 2014. Coach Jeff Sorke says he’d like to see the team at least double their win total from last year when Middlesboro finished 4-11-2.
“The first thing is I want us to win more games. If we can at least double our win total then I feel like we’ll have a successful season,” Sorke said when asked about the team’s goals. “We want to win our district and hopefully compete better at the regional level.”
Middlesboro won their second straight 50th District title with a 9-0 win over Bell County. But aside from three wins against the Lady Cats, their district rivals, the Lady Jackets won just one other match. The fell to Corbin 10-0 in the 13th Region semifinals.
In Middlesboro’s short girls’ soccer history, the Lady Jackets have had quite a bit of success. The team won their region in 2005 and got to host a sub-state game at Bradner Stadium. In 2008, Middlesboro made it all the way to the regional championship game.
The past few years haven’t seen that type of success but the Lady Jackets have been gaining steam since basically starting over with a young roster three seasons ago. Most of those girls are now juniors and seniors and should be ready to compete with top teams in the 13th Region this year.
Leading scorer Sarah Slusher will be back for her sophomore season. Seniors on the roster include forward Hannah Sorke and midfielders Mariah Parsons, Samantha Murrell, Lindsey Johnson, Kaylee Barks and Hannah Wilder.
There were 15 girls out for the opening practice and Sorke was very ecouraged by that number.
“We’ve still got four or five girls on vacation. There are 20 on the team and being able to get 15 out in the middle of July for the first day is great number,” he added.
The Lady Jacket will open the regular season on Aug. 19 at Perry County Central.