The Fairfield Lions boys and girls soccer team are looking to improve on their records from the 2017 season and both feel they have the talent and experience returning to make that a reality.
Lions Head Coach Jacob Alexander is excited to see what the team can do this season after securing more players for his team than he has had in his three year tenure with the Lions.
“This year we have a lot more players coming out, we have picked up some seniors and this year have a good number of freshmen coming in. Last year, we had a total of 14 players and two or three of those were late additions. We only lost two seniors, they will be missed, but this is the most returning players I have had in my three years as head coach,” said Alexander.
The boys from Fairfield will be relying on the players that are returning from the 2017 team to lead them to success in 2018.
“This year we have a couple returning seniors and juniors that are going to set the bar for how far this team can go. Tanner Collins and Zach Ison are both seniors that will be called upon to lead and to play multiple positions. The rain to start this season hasn’t allowed us to have clearly defined roles this year, we will be having some more experienced players playing in key roles that we hope to develop others to play and moving the returning players back to their more natural positions,” Alexander told The Times-Gazette.
The Lions have struggled to find their footing on the pitch for the last several years but Alexander thinks that his team has the talent to change that narrative this season.
“After the past few years, I am hoping to get some wins this year. I’ve told the guys that we are going to have to learn to win this year and we have some winnable games this year. Last year, we got better from game one to the end. This year I expected to be able to build off of what we learned last year,” said Alexander.
Alexander made it clear that the Lions want to win this seson, “This team wants to win, we didn’t have one last year and that is our goal to start the season. After that happens, and it will. We want to continue to win.”
According to the Lions coach the team will be fun to watch this year, “This team will be fun to watch, with 19 guys, we have a lot of unique skills and personalities. They will be fun to watch. They will be competitive to watch.”
The Lady Lions have a young roster this season and new Co-Head Coaches Sam Spargur and Norm Saunders understand that this season will be devoted to teaching the game.
“We are pretty young. Basically with the younger one getting them caught up fundamentally is the goal this year. We want to get them caught up to where they are on an even playing field with their competition,” said Saunders.
The Lady Lions will be looking to senior Lyndee Spargur for leadership this season. The coaches expect her to step into that role and lead by example for the younger players.
“So far Lyndee has stepped up and shown great leadership ability. She also helps us keep the younger kids on track,” Saunders told The Times-Gazette.
Fairfield’s ladies will be relying on their speed advantage this season to help them achieve success this season offensively but they need to work on rotating defensively as well.
“I think speed and communicating will be our strengths this season. Rotating, shifting and communicating on the back line will be something that we need to work on as the season starts,” Saunders said.
Spargur took the time to invite the community to come watch the Lady Lions this season, “Come on out and support the Lady Lions and root them on so that we will have a great year.”
Both coaches are excited to get the season underway according to Spargur, “Both of us are excited to be here and get the season started. Watch these young ladies develop and watch then grow into soccer players. That is the whole reason we are here.”
August 27 – Fairfield will take on Peebles at home in their second Southern Hills Athletic Conference matchup of the year.
October 3 – Fairfield will have their final home match of the year as they welcome the teams from Fayetteville for a SHAC match.
October 12 – Fairfield will end their regular season with a trip to Lynchburg-Clay to battle the defending SHAC champs.
The Fairfield soccer program as a whole has struggled over the last several years. Expect to see both boys and girls teams make positive strides this season.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.