As a coach, I think of each season consisting in four parts.
1. The pre-season (late Fall to late February) - lots of training, and program and culture building.
2. The early season (late February to Spring Break) - training and preparing for first games, in which we play non-conference opponents from around the state.
3. Conference play (Early April to Early May) - a fairly regular schedule of playing two conference games a week, mixed with training and recovery.
4. Post-Season Playoffs - may the better team win and move on.
I have always considered Conference Play to be the heart of the season.
Fortunately we have two more tune-ups before we start our conference play - at Battle Mountain this week, and at Ralston Valley the following Tuesday. Two of our most cherished opponents - both with long records of excellence and great games we have played against one another.
And then it is on to Jeffco 4A conference play, beginning with Green Mountain 4/6. I will happily argue that our conference is the deepest and best in the state at the 4A level, and this year it appears to be its best and deepest in memory. Every game will be competitive, tight, and could go either way. We have had a good run in the conference- on an unbeaten string going all the way back through 2019. We will try to draw from our experience and tradition, but will also know how much hard work it will require to compete for, let alone, win, the conference championship in 2023.
Every game our program gives out the "Cougar of the Day" for players who exhibit qualities we want to see in our players - competitiveness, character, effort, skill, courage, selflessness, teamwork, spirit, determination to name a few. And we literally hand out Cory the Cougar, for players to take home and take pictures with.
In our first game, 3/9, a 4-1 victory over TCA, the team played great and showed perseverance. After giving up a goal in the early part of the second half which tied that game at 1 apiece, we came back to score three unanswered goals to get the win. We gave Cory to Sophie Seybold for playing the full 80 minutes and for doing all of the little things on the field. So proud of this kid for her hard work to get better! Other highlights for the team that day were a hat trick for Lindsay Jeans and a timely game-winning goal by Mallory Ellington!
On Saturday, 3/11, we lost a hard fought overtime game to defending state champion and #1 ranked Northfield. We gave Cory to Gianna Weiner - for excellence, in defensive positioning and shape, for her passing and speed of play, and for being rock solid against a very determined opponent. What a start she has had as a freshman! She is 3 games in and has played every minute! Other highlights that day were an "Olympico" goal by Macy Kormylo, and an amazing display of winning 50/50 challenges by the whole team.
And Tuesday, 3/14, we beat Cheyenne Mountain 3-0. it was a great team effort by our entire roster. We gave Cory to Sam Johnson for her wonderful two goals and for applying coaching instruction immediately upon re-entering the game. This was a first for Sam - two goals in a game - but we expect its not the last.
Thank you GIRLS SOCCER PROGRAM! Your generosity is Amazing! My call for donations to charities to honor the efforts of your programs' coaches over the course of the off-season was met with a great response! So far there has been a total amount of $5,869 raised for the three groups - $1,125 for the EHS Education Foundation, $1,820 For Resilience1220, and $2924 for the EHS Home Field Bleachers Campaign. We are also expecting some matching corporate gifts as well. While running the Kick arounds is just about my favorite thing to do, this makes it doubly worthwhile!
After 30 or so kickarounds and off-season workouts, we assembled this past Monday for Tryouts. And now we have selected two teams for the season. The coaches and I are so excited to get going, and are thrilled with the effort, the attitude, and the leadership we see on display, and know that this is promising for the season.
Every day after practice we have tried to hand out Cory, the Cougar, to a player, in recognition of that player being the Cougar of the Day. The honor will go to those players who embody characteristics we want to see in players - selflessness, leadership, effort and hard work, excellence, teamwork, encouragement, positivity. A player gets to take Cory home, or carry around school, and take pictures to post to social media.
We have had many players in the program honored over the Winter. And this past Saturday, we honored Sylvia Howell for stepping up BIG TIME in her first scrimmage, playing fearlessly, and to the best of her abilities, and playing a full 80 minutes, against excellent competition.
I look forward to honoring more players on these pages over the course of the season!