COVINGTON — The Eastside’s boys soccer program will be going through a transformation as to how things are going to be done.
One change is the elimination of a regular varsity team forcing each player to earn their way to the varsity roster every game among the 36 players on the team.
“I’m going to announce my roster two days before every game so you’re never really officially a varsity player or a jv player. The goal is to keep the competition level high,” explained Eastside boys head coach Champ Young. “The biggest thing this year is competition, no complacency.”
Another change will be seen on the practice field which will hopefully convert to success on game day. Before hitting the practice field, the team will be in the classroom reading what the task will be for each position as well as getting visual representation of what everything is suppose to look like. Young hopes that it will speed up practices making them more efficient letting them do more in the same amount of time.
Having lost five players from last year, this year’s Eastside has a good mixture of experience and very talented youth with 13 capable freshman.
“The freshmen are really good. A handful of freshmen will play varsity. I counted like five (freshmen) but two will play a lot of minutes on varsity. The others will bounce back back forth between varsity and jv,” Young said. “I’ve been very impressed with how they’ve approached everything this year. They’ve been eager to get after it. They’re really hungry more than anything else. They’re the hungriest kids out here. There’s hunger across the board.”
After missing the playoffs last season for the first time in five years. The team is going to make sure that does not happen again. One aspect of the team that has improved from last season has been their midfield. What has changed is the amount of experience they now have with the juniors and seniors now manning those positions giving them two to three years of experience. The other aspect that has improved is the communication in the field.
While the team has vastly improved in the midfield and with their communication, there are still several areas they have to improve on before their first game on Feb. 11 at Heritage. Two of those areas Young is looking to improve are defense as a whole and finishing offensive drives.
“There hasn’t been a lot of whining at each other, there’s been a lot of uplifting each other,” Young said. “I’ve been very impressed with the work rate so far and just the focus we have. Everyone is on board with the same goal.
“They want this school not just be the best school in the county, that’s a forgone conclusion, we want to be one of the best teams in the state.”