Girls’ soccer tryouts begin, season kicks off

The+girls+soccer+team+does+skips+at+tryouts+Monday%2C+March+2.+The+team+did+basic+stretches+before+going+on+their+run.+Photo+by+Ana+Manzano.

The girls’ soccer team does skips at tryouts Monday, March 2. The team did basic stretches before going on their run. Photo by Ana Manzano.

Multiple Authors

Hopeful girls passed soccer balls across the Rock Bridge soccer fields last week as they participated in tryouts, hoping for a spot on the junior varsity or varsity soccer team. Many of them anxious for what’s to come talk amongst themselves about how school is going and what’s to come of the spring soccer season. Most girls came into tryouts feeling unsure and nervous while others felt confident and excited. 

“I had been running it a bunch in the off season so when Monday came around I was more than ready. There weren’t really any nerves,” junior Hannah Juengermann said. “I just wanted to get it done so I could start working with the team and doing drills.”

In years past, tryouts have never been held the exact same. Each year they vary due to weather impacts and the physical condition of the girls, head coach and ninth grade civics teacher Scott Wittenborn said. In the spring season of 2019, the soccer fields were covered in snow, so all tryouts were held in the main gym by the cafeteria instead of outside. [vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column_inner]“I’ve found in my years of coaching that planning never has things go the way you want when it comes to outdoor sports,” Wittenborn said.

One month before tryouts started, girls ran scrimmages and conditioning exercises with Wittenborn during pre-season workouts every Monday – Wednesday after school till 6 p.m. The pre-season conditioning helps the girls get in shape and allows Wittenborn to start looking at new upcoming players. 

“I think it helps when girls come to pre-season stuff because I get to know them and see them out there [with the other girls] and their work ethic,” Wittenborn said, “but at the same time you can’t do two days a week of pre-season conditioning and think you’re going to be in soccer shape.” 

As tryouts continued throughout last week, girls did multiple sprints and long-distance running exercises. On Monday and Wednesday, Wittenborn had them run two miles. Many of the girls ran together to encourage each other through the dreadful two miles. Freshman Jasmine Moser said throughout the runs she was really nervous but having supportive people by her side made it better. 

“I was pretty okay for the 40-yard sprints but the two miles were a challenge. My knee isn’t at its best at times, mainly meaning that it is a little injured, and I knew this run wouldn’t be easy,” Moser said. “But the girls when running are super supportive. When I was getting behind, they all told me that I got it and that it’s going to be OK, and I kicked it into gear and made it through.” [/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]Throughout these runs, coaches judged the girls’ mile times and how much athleticism they have. Athleticism, Wittenborn said, is one of the main components that he looks at during tryouts. The different types of athleticism like strength, agility and footwork can all turn the game over or win it for the team. The more quick footwork and agility a player has the more likely they are to be put on a higher team like varsity. 

“Athleticism is just such a big part of soccer. It’s who’s quickest with the ball and who’s just the straight fastest,” Wittenborn said. “Conditioning and tryouts just lets me see who has the most athleticism, which makes a big difference on who can play at the pace that varsity soccer plays at compared to the JV level.”

While Wittenborn and other coaches look at players’ athleticism, students also complete various dribbling and game tactic exercises. On Monday night after the two mile run, Wittenborn had the girls do tactical footwork which includes dribbling, controlled movements with the ball, and passes between each player. Wittenborn watched the girls trying to pinpoint how accurate and quick they were with their feet. On Tuesday goalkeepers were separated from everyone else while they worked on different diving techniques and blocking shots. The players that don’t play as goalies ran 40-yard sprints. Goalies ran their 40-yard sprints later in the night and afterwards ran drills with them blocking various shots on goal. 

After another two mile run on Wednesday, the girls separated again into keepers and other players to work individually. After separate group work, the girls scrimmage against each other. On the final day of tryouts, Thursday, the girls did various shooting drills and later 1v1 games. The defender blocked the offender while the offender had 30 seconds to find a way to score. 

“These drills were really tiring and fun, especially for a goalie,” Moser said. 

At the beginning of the week, Wittenborn separated potential players that he thought would be good on varsity and judged them against each other to see how each player would play against tougher competition. He gave more girls the opportunity to prove that they could play at the varsity level than he was originally going to keep on the team.  

Wittenborn said he strives for players to be able to push themselves to prove how hard they are willing to work for their spot on the team and after the final tryout on Thursday night, 38 girls out of the 43 who proved their worth and made the team. He split the girls into two teams of nineteen. The girls who made the team will attend practices after school and continue to work with each other on team drills and conditioning. 

“I think we have a good amount of returning talent from last year and now we’re adding in some new talent so I think we can be pretty good this year,” Wittenborn said. “I’m hoping to push them more during after school practices so they are ready for games and competitions.”

Their conditioning will help them adjust to how new players work within the team and help improve accuracy in movement. The more that the players are able to work together the more success they will have throughout the season. 

“This season is going to be our best yet. We are a solid team and Witt even told us that he’s going to push us way harder in practice and do more runs this year because he thinks we can go really far in the off season,” Juengermann said. “We are definitely going to beat Hickman and will definitely make a run for state.” 

Story by Isabelle Perkins

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Monday, March 2

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Tuesday, March 3

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Wednesday, March 4

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Thursday, March 5

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Photos by Ana Manzano

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