Soccer booming at Coal Ridge
PEACH VALLEY – Soccer is coming into its own at Coal Ridge High School.The school, which will commence its second fall sports season Aug. 14, had a girls varsity team last season, but CRHS figures to have more Titan soccer players this year.Not only will there most likely be a girls junior varsity team, but also for the first time, there will be a boys varsity team.
Head coach Sean McElroy, who coaches both the girls and boys teams, has been holding open field sessions throughout the summer and been averaging 12 boys players in attendance.”We are probably not going to be able to field a JV, but I think we will have enough to be able to field a respectable boys team,” McElroy said.Even though the Titans will be facing a tough schedule against the likes of Roaring Fork, Aspen, Rifle and Basalt to name a few, the squad of freshmen, sophomores and juniors does have some things going for it. All of the players played at the club level somewhere in the valley and four of the players played soccer at some level at Rifle High School last season.”I think we are probably going to be relying primarily on the upcoming freshmen,” McElroy said. “Those are going to be the ones we are going to have to count on to step up, just like with the girls.”
Last season, the girls team started nine freshman and posted a 6-4-4 overall record.”The girls did really fine, so hopefully the boys will pick up on that,” McElroy said.McElroy received a confirmation in the elevated numbers of soccer players at CRHS during the Titan soccer camp this week at Coal Ridge. The attendance has ranged from 29 to 33 players in each of the first three days. The camp ends Friday”I was thinking maybe it would be 15 to 18 maybe (who would show up), but I got 33,” he said.
The camp is open to boys and girls and focuses on fundamentals like ball control, heading and defense. On Monday, the camp was off to a good start until lightning ended the three-hour session halfway in. Then on Tuesday, the rain came down, but the players kept on playing. After kicking around in the rain for most of the camp, Tuesday’s session wrapped up with two 8-on-8 scrimmages and not one player left because of the weather. Of the 30 players at Wednesday’s camp, 20 were girls and most of the girls were incoming freshmen. Those numbers made McElroy excited about the spring season.”The girls who played last year are going to be challenged,” McElroy said. “We may have enough on the girls side to have a JV team which would be awesome.”But in the more immediate future, McElroy will focus on his boys. After this week’s camp, Coal Ridge will start practicing on Aug. 14. Then the inaugural CRHS season begins at Rifle on Sept. 1.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.