Area schools prepare for spring soccer

Published 12:05 pm Friday, March 21, 2014

Believe it or not, spring sports in area schools are preparing for upcoming season. With the fluctuating weather conditions that have affected the ability of coaches to prepare for the upcoming season of play, many have been forced to either cancel practices or share time and space in school gyms.

Franklin High School head soccer coach Clay Hyatt is returning three all-district players from his team from last year. Entering his second year as the head coach, Hyatt has great expectations for the team for this year. In 2013, the Broncos finished third in the district. For 2014, the Broncos will be faced with a new situation. The soccer teams for this year will not be co-ed. New rules established by the Virginia High School League have forced the school to have separate teams for the boys and girls. But even faced with this, Hyatt strongly feels that he will be able to make a good run for the season. Although soccer can be played in the rain, Hyatt has had many practices in the gym. Presently, he is preparing for the team’s opening game on Monday, March 24, against the Surry Cougars.

Up the road in Windsor, first year head coach Dan McKnight is also preparing for the Windsor Dukes’ first game on March 24 against Brunswick High School. Although the Dukes are returning about 15 players form last year, McKnight still feels that the team is still young, and he is trying to make many improvements in their style of play. The team has only three seniors that are very experienced.

The Dukes will also be facing a new situation for this season as they have been changed from single A to double A. He feels that the Dukes may be the smallest school in their new district in school population in which this change is based on.

McKnight commented that the team is playing better and will make a good showing in their new district.

The Southampton coaches could not be reached for comment.