Prowling on the pitch: ‘Cats soccer kicking off 2013 seasonPublished 11:54am Friday, February 15, 2013
By Ed Bailey
After first-round defeats in the playoffs last year, BRHS boys and girls soccer coach Sammy Teel says the teams are ready to start the season.
The boys went 14-7-6 in 2012 before being bounced from postseason play by Smiths Station.
The girls record was 9-12-2 and their season ended at the hands of Northview.
“I think we peaked too early,” Teel said of the boys playoff exit. “We were really disappointed in that as we had beaten Smiths Station earlier in the year.”
This season is a bit of a youth movement as Teel said this would be the youngest boys team Benjamin Russell has trotted out in some time.
Teel added that the boys would become more of a finesse team this season.
“We lost 12 out of the 19 players we had last year,” Teel said.
Teel said that he has high expectations for all-star performers mid-fielder Richie Bradshaw and goalie Blake Chappell.
“We’re going to lean heavily on those two for leadership,” Teel said.
On the girls’s side of things, most of the team’s core is intact, including all-state performer Paxton Templin and a defense that Teel said he expects to play well.
Teel said that expectations are huge for the girls this season, adding that a playoff run is in the realm of possibility.
“Anything less than Huntsville would be disappointing,” he said.
The lack of leadership towards the stretch run of the season and mental toughness was the downfall for both teams last year, Teel said.
“We didn’t get enough of it towards the tail end of the season,” Teel said of leadership. “Last year we went into games hoping to win. This year we should go into games expecting to win. It all starts with senior leadership. If the seniors don’t do their jobs, then we’ll have a so-so season and a so-so season at Benjamin Russell is not acceptable.”