The high school fall soccer season kicks off today (Saturday) with the traditional jamborees at Floyd Central and Providence.
And what a memorable season it promises to be. Can Floyd Central girls’ varsity make it five sectional titles in a row before the new two class structure is introduced in 2011?
Can Providence stop the run and regain a crown last won in 2005? Or maybe New Albany will spoil the party for both, and lift its first IHSAA sectional championship?
Floyd Central coach Lewie Stevens believes the Pioneers, coached by Dave Smith, are the team to beat this fall.
“They are skilled at every position and one year stronger and wiser,” he told Kick It.
Stevens also believes New Albany, led by Julie Deuser, will be a formidable opponent this year.
“They lost (Kaitlin) Robinett but they are still fast, skilled and very well coached,” he said. “They won’t rely on one player as much and could possibly be more dangerous and well balanced than last year.”
The Highlanders, narrowly beaten in last year’s regional championship encounter by Columbus North, are themselves working very hard in a bid for more honors, revealed Stevens.
“This group is very enjoyable because they have a good work ethic but also enjoy having a good laugh,” he said. “Despite last year’s experience we are still a pretty young team.”
Over on the boys’ side, New Albany comes into the fall as defending regional champion, a title earned after a fantastic post-season under the guidance of coach Ben Vigar.
Returning as the team’s head coach will be his father, Dutch, who has been involved with Bulldogs soccer for the past 21 years.
“It feels great to be coaching again, he told Kick It. “I am extremely proud and happy for my son Ben and the success he experienced at the end of last season. I wish he were on the coaching staff this year, but he has decided to take a break since he and his wife Jenna recently had a beautiful daughter.”
The post-season rivalry between Jeffersonville and Providence will also come to an end after this fall due to the two class system. Both teams are under the stewardship of new coaches in the shape of Carson Webb and Brandon Rogers respectively.
Christian Academy of Indiana, meanwhile, may be without standouts Andrew Rosenberg and Drew Mattingly, but coach Will Lorigan still expects his Warriors to be a handful for the traditional powerhouses once again come post-season.
You will be able to catch a glimpse of the area’s top teams and players at both of Saturday’s jamborees.
First into action will be the participants at Providence, which will include the boys and girls of the hosts, Corydon and Madison.
Action kicks off at 4.00 p.m. after the defection of North Harrison due to heat concerns and admission is $5 for adults, $2 for students and free for children 10 and under. The alumni game will follow.
The Floyd Central jamboree starts at 6 p.m. and will feature boys’ and girls teams from the hosts, Jeffersonville, and New Albany.
Games are 20 minutes in length with just one half.