McClain’s boys soccer team is keeping it simple in 2018, they just want to have a better season than they did a year ago.
According to Tigers Head Coach Nick McNeil the team is looking to have a better season all around in 2018, “Definitely expecting a winning season and expecting a season than last year.”
McClain’s boys were in a lot of game last season but they struggled to score, that will not be the case this year McNeil said, “Last year we were in a lot of games but we struggled with scoring. I fell like this year we have some more kids up top that will allow us to have more opportunities to score.”
Reece Schluep is a first year senior soccer player for the Tigers in 2018 and McNeil expects to see good things from him as the season progresses.
“Reece is a heck of an athlete, kid can run a 4:50 mile. He won the league in the mile this year which is exactly the kind of athlete you want for soccer. You want someone who can run fast and run fast a long time and he is a highly intelligent kid too. All the raw materials you want for a good soccer player,” said McNeil.
The Tigers will have four captains in 2018 and McNeil will be relying on them to guide the younger players, “The two seniors and two juniors on the team will be our leaders. We have a lot of good leadership on the team which is huge.”
McClain will look to be more aggressive on the pitch this year than they were during the 2017 season according to McNeil, “I think we have had some growth from last year and it is not just growth physically. It is growth in the mindset as well, if you let someone else push you first you are the one taking the fall. If you are the one who is being the aggressor, the one who is coming out and setting up and playing your game rather than trying to play their game.”
The Lady Tigers are in the same boat as their male counterparts, they just want to have a better season than they had in 2017.
Head Coach Shawn Peterman feels that the team has a lot to build off of from last season, “We have a pretty good platform that we have built off of this year. We have a lot of youth that are very coachable which makes it nice to be able to build off of.”
The main thing for the Lady Tigers this season is to be competitive and have fun according to Peterman, “You start out and you are not sure where you are at until you play your first game. Then whatever we see when we play our first game we will build from that.”
The McClain girls will be introducing a new keeper to the high school game this season and Peterman believes that she can contribute to the success of the team with the proper training and experience.
“We have a new keeper in Maci McCune that has shown a lot of potrential but needs some fine tuning coming from rec to high school. It is a little quicker paced game and the girls are a little bit stronger when you get to the high school level. The little things that she needed to work on she has picked up quickly and she learns on her own,” Peterman said.
August 28 – McClain will open the FAC portion of their schedule with a trip to take on Jackson.
September 18 – The Tigers and Lady Tiger will travel to Hillsboro for a cross-county and league rivalry game at the home of the Indians.
October 11 – McClain will close out their season with a home match against Unioto.
The Tigers appear to have the skill and toughness to make a run towards the top of the rugged FAC this year. Look for senior Reece Schluep to have an impact on the success of the team despite his lack of experience at the high school level.
The Lady Tigers still look to be in the midst of a program overhaul and the success of the team in the league and overall will depend on the youth with the team developing rapidly and contributing to the team’s success before the end of the season.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.