The fourth annual “Passionately Pink for the Cure” game between New Albany and Floyd Central girls will take place at Prosser Field on September 13, but a preceding fundraising concert is to be staged at Kye’s II in Jeffersonville this Friday (September 7, from 6-11 p.m.).
Entertainment will be provided by local bands The Hi-tops, The Juice Box Heroes and Rachel Timberlake.
There will also be a silent auction with all proceeds from the night going to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Fund. Appetizers will be served by Tumbleweed.
“We have many local vendors involved and a big sponsorship from Lucas Oil,” said New Albany team manager, Rhonda Iglesias. “The concert is a fun way to raise money for a cause that affects us all.”
Iglesias said the boys’ teams are also getting involved this year and will be holding their own game the same night as the girls at Floyd Central.
“All teams will be wearing pink to show their support for the cause,” she said. “Each year we gain more support from the community to help us raise money for this cause and we’re excited to see what this year will bring.”
Tickets for the concert are $10 in advance ($12 at the door) and can be purchased at any Floyd Central or New Albany home soccer game, from performing artists, or by calling 502-724-1594.
Three of the area’s high school teams participated at the 2012 Hoosier Cup in Bloomington, Indiana, this weekend with varying fortunes.
A total of 42 teams from all over Indiana and Kentucky competed in this year’s event in better-than-expected weather.
Floyd Central’s girls (4-0-2) are showing good form ahead of tonight’s home encounter against rival Providence ( 3-3), a game which kicks off at 7 p.m. The Highlanders went through the weekend unbeaten in their three games at Karst Farm Park.
Lewie Stevens’ charges opened up their account in the Ella Bull Pool with a 7-0 victory over Richmond on Friday. Ellie Stewart and Ali Host netted two goals apiece in the win over the Red Devils, with Kelsey Shireman, Christine Clark and Mariah Ferber adding the others.
However, the real heroics came Saturday when Floyd Central came back from a three-goal halftime deficit to tie Plainfield 3-3. Cylie Miller and Ferber scored on Lauren Wyatt assists to pull the Highlanders right back into the game.
Then McKenzie Garringer added a third on a Stewart assist to guarantee the Highlanders a share of the spoils.
Floyd Central rounded out the tournament with a creditable 1-1 tie against Castle, with Lauren Wyatt scoring the opener from a Stewart assist. Castle won the pool on goal difference.
On the boys’ side, Jeffersonville (4-3-2) went through the Warren Brown Pool without scoring, picking up a tie and suffering two losses.
The Red Devils opened up with a 3-0 defeat against Class 2A Sectional 30 rival and current champion Jasper on Friday, but bounced back to tie 0-0 with Richmond on Saturday morning.
Carson Webb’s boys then fell 2-0 to pool winners South Bend Adams in their final game.
Next up for Jeffersonville is a home matchup against Jennings County, winners of the Nick Matavuli Pool 2 at the Hoosier Cup, on Saturday (12 noon).
In the Michael O’Dea Pool, Providence (2-4-2)lost to Vincennes 6-0 but fought hard for a 3-3 tie with Heritage Christian with a brace of goals from Pierce Crawley and a third from John Murray. Evan Hollkamp had two assists, while Andrew Wimp had one.
Providence play at North Harrison tomorrow (Wednesday), before games at home to Decatur Central (Saturday) and away to New Albany (September 11).
A record number of the area’s players start their collegiate soccer careers this month.
Floyd Central girls’ graduates account for a large chunk of those carrying on their soccer careers, with no fewer than six playing college ball this fall.
One of them, Loryn Queen, has already gotten off to a flyer, scoring in her very first game for Division I outfit University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
In the Lady Mocs’ 6-0 win over cross-town rival Tennessee Temple last week, Queen started off her college career in midfield, where she chipped in with an assist, before scoring when moved up front.
“I am loving it so far,” said Queen, who was leading scorer for the Highlanders last year with 16 goals. “It’s a great challenge and it has pushed me to become more mature with the game. The coaches and upperclassmen have made being away from home much easier.”
It also helps that her old Javanon club teammate Logan Higgins from Assumption joins her on the program, while on the academic side, having a great physical therapy course was a great pull.
“And after visiting the school, I chose UTC because of the beautiful campus, the coaches and the players. They were all so welcoming I felt right at home,” said Queen.
Casey Marlin, Providence’s all-time highest career scorer with 95 goals, has chosen to study and play soccer at Lenoir-Rhyne University, located in Hickory, North Carolina.
The program, part of the South Atlantic Conference, is coming off back-to-back regular-season championships, as well and subsequent berths in the NCAA Division II national tournament.
The Bears are ranked ninth in the country preseason and much is expected of the team under new coach Cally Morrill.
Marlin said Lenoir-Rhyne, while having a successful soccer program, also has a sense of community that appealed to her.
“I think it is a challenge to be seven hours away from home with people I don’t know in an area I’m not familiar with, but I think it will be a great growing and learning experience,” she said.
Marlin will once again wear the No. 10 jersey she so successfully adorned during high school — a career which culminated in an Indiana Class A State championship with the Pioneers.
She said she believes the experience has really helped her thus far in what has been a rigorous preseason.
“It’s probably the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life but it’ll pay off,” she said. “I do think college is tougher because there is much more time put into it and it is a higher level of playing, but I’d say I’m prepared for it thanks to my experiences with Providence.”
The Bears’ first game will see them take on Georgia College in the Lenoir Rhyne Classic on Friday, August 31.
Also starting its fall campaign on Friday is NCAA Division III outfit Transylvania University, ranked No. 1 in preseason polls to repeat its 2011 feat of finishing atop the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Amongst the Pioneers’ new recruits are Nick Blackwell (New Albany) and Brett Bass (Providence).
Blackwell, who plays with two-time national league runner-up and six-time state champion Javanon ‘94, follows in the footsteps of Bulldog brothers Matt and Nick Karaffa, who both played with Transy.
“I am most thankful about getting an opportunity to play in college because it was always one of my goals to play college soccer and I am truly blessed to have this chance,” he said.
Blackwell said he chose Transylvania as it is a good blend of soccer and academics that will help him pursue his goals in life, one of which is coaching.
“I have taken part in coaching the New Albany boys’ team this summer with Dutch Vigar and Dietrich Rudolph, and while attending Transy, the players can help coach club at Lexington FC, which is a great way for me to help further my coaching career and help build a foundation for it.”
Bass, meanwhile, plays club soccer with United 1996, will become the second Providence defender to play with the Transylvania, the other having been Ryan Sparks.
Like many who have played at Transy, coach Brandon Bowman — now in his 10th year at the Lexington college — was a factor when Bass was choosing where to go.
“I met with Coach Bowman and really enjoyed my visit and loved the campus,” said Bass. “Transy has consistently been strong in soccer year after year under him and that influenced my decision.
“There are a lot of juniors here with a lot of experience and it’s been challenging as the game is faster. It’s nice also having other freshmen I know like Nick Blackwell and some United teammates here.”
The Pioneers’ first game is against Berea College at the Little Caesar’s College Showcase in Lexington on Friday, August 31.
Starting their collegiate soccer careers…
Brett Bass (Providence/Transylvania, Lexington, Ky.); Nick Blackwell (New Albany/Transylvania, Lexington, Ky.); Danny Laird (Floyd Central/Northern Kentucky, Ky.); Caleb Moore (Christian Academy of Indiana/Huntington, Ind.); Chris Smith (Christian Academy of Indiana/Huntington, Ind.); Gabe Stewart (St Xavier, Henryville native/Lipscomb, Nashville, Tenn.); Rebekah Burgan (Floyd Central & Jeffersonville/Parkland College, Ill.); Lauren Haley (Floyd Central/Ohio University, Ohio); Cassie Holland (Floyd Central/Asbury, Ky.); Casey Marlin (Providence/Lenoir-Rhyne, Hickory, N.C.); Taylor Patty (Floyd Central/Southern Indiana, Evansville, Ind.); Alysen Shireman (Floyd Central, 2011 graduate, first year at Campbellsville University, Ky.). Loryn Queen (Floyd Central/University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Tenn.); Ashley Walls (Christian Academy of Indiana, 2011 graduate, first year at Asbury, Ky.)
It was a case of wedding bells in more ways than one at the weekend when a high school boys’ varsity soccer coach married his sweetheart.
You might remember when we exclusively reported last October on Silver Creek’s Colin Bell proposing to his girlfriend, Morgan Young, during the halftime break of the Dragons’ sectional win against Rock Creek Academy.
With his side up by four goals, New Albany graduate Bell made his way over to the bleachers at Providence with his players, each one carrying a rose. There sat Young, herself a Pioneer graduate, who had been asked to bring a “forgotten” polo top of Colin’s to the game.
“The first guy put the vase down in front of her and the rest set their roses in the vase,” recalled Bell at the time. “I can remember seeing her in complete shock. … I had this whole thing prepared, comparing soccer to love, but I froze up. All I said was, ‘I love you with all my heart. Will you marry me?’”
Young, a labor and delivery nurse at University of Louisville Hospital, said at the time, “Colin completely caught me off-guard. I thought the roses were for all the guys’ parents.”
It was a story that received quite a response. Following our Kick It feature, the proposal tale went international.
“I know some of my friends couldn’t believe that our story made Yahoo,” said Bell this week. “I had to show them the actual webpage so that they would believe me. Everyone has been real supportive and excited for both of us.”
On Saturday afternoon, the pair tied the knot at St Joseph Hill Church in Sellersburg.
Ahead of the wedding day, Bell said he was more excited than nervous.
“I tell (people) I have my one special person for myself and what’s there to be nervous about,” he said.
Unfortunately, Bell had to miss Silver Creek’s home game against South Ripley the morning of the wedding, but he will be around for the entire season as he and Morgan will wait until early next year to go on honeymoon.
“We figured when it is cold and snow is on the ground here, we could go and find some tropical weather somewhere else,” he said.
To matters on the field, Bell said he is feeling confident about the season ahead, one that kicked off last Thursday with a very encouraging 1-0 win over defending Class A sectional champion Christian Academy of Indiana.
He is assisted by Eric Stackhouse, a former teammate at Southern Indiana United and high school rival who went to Providence.
Bell said that he and Stackhouse are very encouraged by the progress they are seeing.
“We are returning eight starters from last year and we have 10 boys that are new to the Silver Creek soccer program,” he said.
“This shows that more boys are becoming interested in soccer and that our program is growing.”
Returning players to look out for are juniors Caleb Scarbrough and Noah Spencer.
“Caleb plays in our center midfield and excels both offensively and defensively,” he said. “Noah plays in one of our forward positions and has the ability to produce a lot of goals for us this season.”
One newcomer he is excited have is senior Trevor Spence.
“He’s what I call our ‘utility man’ in that he can play anywhere on the field and has a motor that does not stop,” said the Dragons’ coach.
Bell’s first game in charge as a married man will take place away to Mitchell HS this Thursday, followed by a home tie against Henryville on August 28.
Following a one-year agreement with the college, the state finals are scheduled to be played at Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium on Saturday, October 27.
The Class A boys’ state championship will begin at 10:30 am and will be followed by the Class A girls final at 1 p.m., the Class 2A boys at 3:30 p.m. and the Class 2A girls at 6 p.m.
The boys’ and girls’ soccer state finals had been played at Kuntz Memorial Stadium in Indianapolis since the tournament’s inception in 1994.
The stadium includes a newly installed FieldTurf Revolution surface that is FIFA and NCAA-compliant at 115 x 75 yards and is home to IUPUI’s men’s and women’s soccer teams.
Sandra Walter, who administers both state tournaments as IHSAA assistant commissioner, said everyone involved is excited about the soccer-specific facility and the fan-friendly surroundings there.
“For the first time, we will provide practice space for our state finalists prior to the tournament and with the change to a FIFA-approved synthetic surface, we feel that the new accommodations will be well received and prove beneficial to our state qualifiers,” she said.
Christian Academy of Indiana tasted postseason success for the first time last fall — and they are hungry for more.
The Warriors won the inaugural Class A Sectional 60 boys’ crown when beating Providence 2-0, a result which means they will no longer be considered a surprise packet.
Which is fine with coach Will Lorigan, who said he thinks the success of the team is the first fruit of a greater effort by the school’s athletics department to field teams that not only compete, but compete with excellence.
“If anything, winning a soccer sectional last year erased the mental hurdle some kids face when playing against good opponents,” he said.
“Needless to say last year’s success has instilled a greater hunger for the coming season in the returning players and given the new players an immediate goal to reach and then to push further during their soccer careers at Christian Academy.
“One of the things I tell my players is the difference between a good and great athlete is the top three inches — not necessarily how skilled you are but how mentally tough you are.”
Last year, athletic director Chris Harper introduced soccer at elementary level to add to a middle-school program.
“Ultimately, the goal is to start producing quality athletes every year for every sport, with the elementary and middle school grades focusing on fundamentals, team work, character and spiritual growth,” said Lorigan. “By the time these kids reach high school they should be ready to plug into the junior varsity and varsity teams of every sport, continually raising the level of excellence that we compete at.”
There are 10 freshmen coming into the soccer program this year, the largest since the Warriors’ current senior class, and they will find the standard bar set that little bit higher.
“I challenged the current seniors to win a sectional title by the end of their senior year, and they achieved that in their junior year,” said Lorigan. “I’ll be doing the same with this freshman class but setting the standards higher because their foundation is stronger.”
New additions such as Nick Reed, James Martin, Cole Ragland and Garrett Couch will join some solid returning players, such as Caleb Ferree, Josh Moore, Quinn Banet and Justin Baird.
“We also have a new goalkeeper in junior Lucas Young who has big shoes to fill after Drew Mattingly and Tyler Stumler but we think he is equal to the task.” said Lorigan.
This year’s preparations included participating in the University of Louisville team camp this summer which Lorigan described as “an extraordinary experience.”
“The players learned a lot about team work, team goals, individual goals, and most importantly how to approach the game of soccer,” he said. “The camp was so beneficial we’ll be committing to it every year as we continue to build the program.”
Elsewhere, Providence will be keen to have a good season and complete it with its first sectional title since 2008, while Rock Creek Academy, Silver Creek, Henryville and Charelstown will be striving to improve their respective programs also.
New Albany, Jeffersonville and Floyd Central will be hoping for good runs in the Hoosier Hills Conference before attempting to wrestle the Class 2A Sectional 30 title from the grasp of Jasper.
Cheney told Bob Kravitz after the Americans’ 2-1 victory over Japan that she’s considering playing overseas.
The Ben Davis HS graduate also said she is contemplating going back to UCLA, where she’s halfway through an undergraduate degree in history.
Women’s Professional Soccer announced in May that it was folding after three seasons, leaving players without a club team to play for.
However, the hope is that the U.S. women’s success — not to mention the performance of bronze medal-winning Canada, who host the 2015 World Cup — will help a new league work.
Coincidentally, on the morning of last Thursday’s gold medal game, it was announced that a new professional women’s soccer league will kick off in the spring of 2013.
Three former WPS teams — Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC — are expected to be part of the new league. There will also be a new franchise in Seattle, along with four to-be-named teams.
Meanwhile, the U.S. will face Costa Rica in its first match after winning Olympic gold at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., on Saturday, Sept. 1. It will be broadcast live on NBC.
Here’s a copy of the release announcing the new women’s professional soccer league.
Top Teams Finalizing the Formation of Women’s Soccer League
CHICAGO, IL (Aug. 9, 2012) – With the conclusion of both the WPSL Elite League and W-League semi-pro women’s playoffs and the ongoing thrilling performance of the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Olympic Games, five of the top women’s soccer teams in the country are announcing the formation of a new professional women’s soccer league that will start play in the spring of 2013.
Among the teams are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, a newly formed team in Seattle, and New Jersey’s Sky Blue FC, three out of four of which were members of the prior Women’s Professional Soccer league. Additionally, four other teams are finalizing their participation in the league including another team that will be located on the West Coast.
“All these teams are committed to playing with and against each other starting in 2013 and to working out the final details to allow a sustainable professional league for women’s soccer in the U.S.,” said Michael Stoller, Managing Partner of the Boston Breakers. “We want to emphasize this is not a competitor to any of the existing leagues, but rather this is a significant step up in the competitive level and professional standards and we expect to establish a natural relationship to allow teams to enter this new league and perhaps to fall back (self-relegate) to their prior league if they need a break from the higher spending and competitive requirements.”
Much work has already been done to structure the minimum standards, season length, player requirements and conferences. It is expected that several more teams will join the league in the coming month or two as discussions continue with several other ownership groups.
This league is being created by ownership groups within the existing leagues on the basis of understanding the successes and failures of the first two attempts at a professional league in America. A main goal for the league is to provide the best U.S. players with the ability to develop and train at a high level on a consistent basis. The team owners are driving this effort and are working to make sure the league will help prepare those players for international competition with the U.S. WNT.
The founders of the new league have been working with United Soccer Leagues (USL) and Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) to attempt to solidify the relationship and roles of the existing women’s leagues with the new league and participation for all teams that elect to meet the minimum standards. This is an acknowledgement on the long-term success and sustainability of semi-pro women’s soccer leagues in this country.
WPSL has participated in the planning for the new league, “We have supported women’s soccer for decades and are very proud of our creation of the WPSL Elite League this year and the role we have been able to play in bringing this new league together for 2013. We are committed to easy movement for teams between WPSL and this new league and we will also provide a place for reserve teams to play,” said Jerry Zanelli, founder and President of WPSL. “Many details remain to be worked out but we will support the new league in its growth and are happy to see an unambiguous future for women’s professional soccer in the United States.”
“We are excited to bring the highest level of women’s soccer to Seattle,” said Bill Predmore, President of Seattle-based digital marketing agency, POP, and the leader of the ownership group for the new Seattle club. “Seattle has a long history of enthusiastic support for professional soccer, which we hope will provide us with a strong base of fans for the new women’s club.”
According to Arnim Whisler, owner of the Chicago Red Stars, “This is an inclusive not an exclusive effort. If teams want to join and can meet the minimum standards then we welcome them. This league is for the players that want to play and be on the WNT radar, the fans that continue to support us despite our false starts in the past, and the teams that are committed to elite women’s soccer. We have been very happy with the WPSL Elite season that we just completed and cannot thank Jerry enough for his providing so many teams the place to play this year on such short notice and we see this as a natural extension of that model to a more permanent league and infrastructure.”
In the near future, there will be more detailed discussions with U.S. Soccer on the proper sanctioning process.
With the curtain now down on the London Olympics, athletes are considering future plans. Among them is Ireland’s boxing gold medalist Katie Taylor, who suggested in interviews this weekend that she “might go back to playing a small bit of club football.”
Taylor, who has been capped 19 times for the Republic of Ireland, grounded the nation to a halt last Thursday when she won gold in in the 60kg lightweight category. It was the first time women’s boxing was included at the Olympics.
The 26-year-old told Irish radio station Newstalk she will consider all options, including a professional boxing contract or staying in the amateur ranks and defending her title at Rio in 2016.
Her feat will be celebrated today when she goes around her hometown of Bray, Co. Wicklow on an open-topped bus.
Congratulations Katie and best of luck with your future endeavors.
If Providence High School girls’ varsity coach Dave Smith is to be believed, then every Class A team in Indiana is going to have their work cut out trying to wrestle the Pioneers’ state title from their grasp.
“We have tremendous on the field leadership from our seniors, outstanding players all over the pitch, and — most importantly — good kids who genuinely love playing the beautiful game and representing their school,” he said.
Hoosiers, you have been warned!
One player opponents won’t have to contend with, however, is the school’s career-scoring leader Casey Marlin (95 goals).
Replacing her will not be an easy task, while two of its “Brick Force” defense, which conceded just six goals in 23 games, have also graduated — Kelsey Rogers and Erin Wallace.
Despite the losses, the Pioneers still have plenty of talent on the roster. Returning to lead the charges will be senior Leah Mattingly, a Ball State University commitment and central defender.
Alongside her as senior captain will be the elusive, nimble and highly skilled central midfielder Erin Duncan, as well as relentless marking back and team sparkplug Maryashly Betz.
Katie Barron, another senior, will bring needed depth and energy to the outside midfield position.
Junior Autumn Meyer once again will be in goal, while fellow juniors Rachel Wells, Katelyn Koopman and Kasey Wallace enter the third stage of their high school careers sporting an impressive 38-2-3 record.
Smith believes that the combo of Wallace and Duncan is as dynamic a partnership as Providence has ever been blessed with.
“They cover so much ground and work so beautifully together,” he said. “They’re like two scorpions prowling their area: mobile, interchangeable and equally dangerous.”
Seasoned sophomores Alyssa Jones, Jordan Reger and Sarah Posante will be counted on heavily, primarily in the midfield and forward positions. All three benefited from last season’s postseason experience and have added the necessary strength to afford them greater durability for the upcoming campaign.
“All three of these girls can score, and we will need them to do so with the departure of Casey Marlin and her 36 goals last year,” said Smith.
New faces include diminutive freshmen Savanna Kerstiens and Emma Roesner, as well as fellow first-timers Mikaela Heavrin and Taylor Hunton, all of whom should contend for varsity minutes.
Athletic junior Sera Craig, a transfer from Scottsburg, is challenging for a spot on the varsity squad and may well jump into one of the defensive vacancies, as part of the reconstructed back four.
One significant addition to the Pioneers’ schedule is a visit to Louisville Manual, a perennial power in Kentucky. Other notably strong opponents include Columbus East, Columbus North, Louisville Mercy, Christian Academy of Louisville, North and South Oldham, Floyd Central and New Albany.
“We have ramped up our strength of schedule over the last 10 to 12 years and this is without a doubt the most challenging of them all,” said Smith.
This year’s Class A girls’ sectional will be hosted by Switzerland County, which is not quite as far away as last year’s host Rising Sun. Should the Lady Pioneers capture the sectional (which would be their seventh in the last 12 years), they will again host the regional, where they upended Heritage Hills by a score of 4-0 last October.
“I’m excited about our chances,” said Smith. “Of course, playing beautiful soccer makes the ride that much more enjoyable, so that is our goal.”
This Saturday, the Pioneers will host a combined boys/girls jamboree, which will include Corydon, North Harrison and Madison (3:30 p.m. kick off).
Meanwhile, Christian Academy of Indiana has reintroduced a girls’ program after a year hiatus. They will be coached by Brett O’Loughlin.
“We are a very young team with only one senior and three juniors,” he said. “We are also very inexperienced: There are a couple of the girls that have never played before.”
The Lady Warriors will have leadership from captains Kendra Driver, Makenzie Wingham and Rachel Wright, while they will be hoping for some good production from freshmen Amy Leffler and Brittany Albert.
“There is a tremendous interest in the sport in the middle school and the elementary school, so it is realistic to think if we can make it through this year and next we will be in terrific shape,” said O’Loughlin.
Other local Class A teams hoping to improve this year include Silver Creek and Charlestown. Lady Pirates’ coach Shawn Smith said they have the full spectrum of players on the team, from those who play select soccer to those who have never played the game or even an organized sport.
“I think as the new players get comfortable with everything and experience the speed of play of an actual game, we’ll start seeing the team come together and have the practices elevate to the next level of intensity.”
Players to watch for Charlestown include seniors Tyelar Motsinger (goalkeeper) and Adi Gomez, as well as freshman Sara Rutkowski.
In Class 2A, Floyd Central will be hoping to retain its Sectional 30 title won last year against Jasper.
The Highlanders say goodbye to influential seniors Lauren Haley, Loryn Queen and Taylor Patty, who bagged 36 goals between them last fall, while Kaitlin Hein and goalkeeper Katie Perkins will be missing from defense.
However, they welcome back impressive defenders Christine Clark and Lydia Kost, while Kady O’Farrell, Lauren Wyatt, Ali Host, Mary Clay and Cylie Miller should also leave their mark on the season.
New Albany will be without the school’s record career goalscorer, Kamaren Cole (81), but returning will be captains Tanner Marcum, Phoebe Bauer,Kaelin Blessinger and Laura Millis, as well as the Iglesias twins, Stephanie and Selena.
Others to watch include Rachel Bowden, Ryan Milam, Rachel Geveden and Lindsey Streigel.
Coach Julie Deuser said they have “great expectations” for the season.
“The girls have been training hard all summer and are looking forward to game time,” she said. “This is a very hardworking group of girls and I am confident that we will have a successful year.”
Deuser has a new assistant coach in Elizabeth Kornexal, a former New Albany graduate and player.
“I feel that she brings a fresh perspective and new energy to the program and we are thrilled to have her on staff,” said the Lady Bulldogs coach. “We have also hired former player Mackenzie Nash to help coach as well. I feel that she will do a wonderful job working with our junior varsity team.”
Jeffersonville, meanwhile, will be coached by Scott Epley, who said he is thrilled with the effort the players have been putting forth this summer.
“Our senior leadership from Taylor Davis and Jesse Riggle has helped bond the players together as a team,” he said. “Taylor and Jesse will be two of the main ‘cogs’ in our machine along with junior midfielders Devin Carrier and Hannah Scott.”
The other returning varsity players, senior Carmen Tinoco and sophomores, Beka Harris and Kimmi Beard, will be essential for their success, said Epley, while freshmen Libby West and Tori Ogden will be welcome assets to their program.
Epley said he is fortunate to have former New Albany assistant coach Jason Crane, whose daughter Ashlyn looks set to be the Red Devils goalkeeper, as an assistant this fall.
“With his emphasis on technical training, we have become better with our footwork,” said Epley. “We still have a way to go to get to the level we want to achieve to be competitive with the top teams in our area but the dedication is there, the desire is there and the heart is there: I love this team.”
Below is the full version of the Q&A with Indiana High School Athletic Association Commissioner Bobby Cox, which appeared in The Evening News & Tribune yesterday.
The high school soccer season kicks off next week across Southern Indiana, and with it come more changes both on and off the field.
On it, we will see the elimination of the “soft red” card in an attempt to improve sportsmanship.
In one of three changes being introduced by the National Federation of State High School Associations Soccer Rules Committee, a second yellow card will not only disqualify a player, but the team will not be permitted to substitute for him or her.
Off it, we have seen the introduction of the two-class system by the Indiana High School Athletic Association in 2011.
Then, a few weeks ago, a new two-year tournament success factor was approved for all team sports, including soccer.
It involves an accumulation of points by which a school will move up a class based on tournament-series performance during that time.
Success achieved during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years will be used to determine classifications in 2013-14.
So we thought it would be a good time to put a few questions to IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox about recent changes and how the organization believes they will affect the fifth-most popular sport at the high school level.
Cox commenced in his new role in 2011, having served as assistant commissioner since 2000 administering the sports of football, boys’ golf, boys’ and girls’ track and field, and wrestling.
He is a graduate of Carmel High School and spent 21 years as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator in the Carmel Clay Schools.
Kick It: There has been a bit of a shake-up in numerous high school sports in Indiana coinciding with your appointment as commissioner, including soccer which saw the introduction of two classes in 2011. How do you feel the new structure has fared so far and what kind of feedback have you had on it?
Bobby Cox: The change to two classes in soccer was motivated by the soccer coaches’ association after several years of surveying their membership and a growing level of support during that time to classify the tournament. After year one, I feel the tournament went well. As our membership continues to polarize with regard to enrollment, I feel that two classes will serve soccer well.
KI: You are quoted as saying the introduction of the two-year tournament success factor “will prove to enhance the team-sport experience” across the disciplines that it will affect. How do you see it enhancing the experience in soccer?
BC: As more schools add soccer to their sport offerings, the opportunities that the success factor will provide will extend to soccer. Obviously that will increase should soccer move to three or more classes in time. … Additional classes in soccer will come when the number of schools that offer the sport increases. Our by-laws provide that when 75 percent of the membership (currently at 408 full-member schools) is participating in the sport, a third class may be created and when 95 percent of the membership participates, a fourth class may be added.
KI: So while there were 292 boys’ teams involved in postseason competition last year (around 72 percent), the girls total of 252 teams (62 percent) would need to increase by around 54 programs for a third class to be considered. So when do you foresee a three-class structure, based on growth projections?
BC: You are correct. Both genders would need to achieve the 75 percent threshold to consider three classes. Given the current financial climate at our member schools and a growth rate of less than three schools annually, I do not foresee three classes in soccer for quite some time.
KI: So is it fair to say then that the “opportunities” that the success factor will provide to the sport in the immediate years will be minimal while it remains as a two-class sport?
BC: Obviously there will not be as much movement of schools when there is only two classes as opposed to four or six.
KI: Wouldn’t this therefore give credence to the criticism that the success factor might work with sports with three or more classes, but won’t work as well — maybe even be detrimental — for those who might have to make a potentially big “jump up” in soccer? (For example, Providence, winners of the inaugural Class A girls’ state title and therefore already accumulating four points when you take into account 2011-12, could be taking on schools with up to 10 times as many girls in 2013 should they win at least regional this fall and rack up the six-point total.)
BC: I do not see any detriment to a 1A school that has experienced a level of success necessary to move up to 2A soccer, other than it will be more difficult to win and that is exactly what the program is designed to accomplish.
KI: Are you concerned about schools trying to take advantage of the changes to enhance their chances of success in future years (not making any real effort to perform when moved up a class, for example)?
BC: It is rare to see a school participate in an IHSAA tournament series event and not give their best efforts. My sense is that if Providence High School’s girls’ soccer team moves into 2A girls’ soccer in 2013-14, they will bring everything they have to the tournament.
KI: There are those that believe private/parochial schools should have their own state tournament because they can recruit from the entire local area and are already in an advantageous position as a result. Is this something the IHSAA has looked at?
BC: The public/private/parochial debate has raged on since the initiation of the multiple-class system in team sports. A proposal to divide the IHSAA membership into public and private divisions was introduced into the Board of Directors agenda this year. The proposal failed and rightfully so. … While private and parochial schools have certain advantages, public schools also possess advantages as well. All these varied advantages are now being addressed by implementing a success factor. At the end of the day, some people are only concerned with what schools are winning IHSAA state championships and those people want to feel as if their school has a fair opportunity to be successful. Thus, we are addressing success.
KI: Other than class changes, has the IHSAA discussed future improvements or alterations to soccer as it grows in popularity?
BC: The executive committee has approved the staff to secure a new location for our state championships. We are looking into options and will name a new state finals venue in August.