Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2005

LHS soccer ready to return to top

August 18, 2005, 12:00 a.m.

Updated: August 22, 2005, 8:47 a.m.

The Lansing High boys soccer team had an up-tempo first practice on Monday.

Players were flying around, showing quick footwork and making precise passes. Everything was at least a step faster than in 2004.

The reason for the quicker play and added enthusiasm was that most of the players couldn't wait to get things started. After all, for most of the returning players, the summer was defined by one word: commitment.

After posting an 8-9 record last year, the Lions feel like they have something to prove.

"For the last two years, we have underperformed and the players know it," LHS coach Randy Brown said. "We all feel it in our gut as for where we really should have been and what should happen. We are going to be working as hard as we can to make sure that doesn't happen again."

Although practices began Monday, the hard work really began months ago. Players scattered to play for area club teams. In addition, 10 Lansing players participated in a conditioning program at the University of St. Mary.

"It was fitness for an hour-and-a-half straight," senior defender Theo Daniels said of the program. "A few of our guys did that, and it's really been showing out there."

Daniels said most of the players also got together throughout the week to practice during the offseason.

"We had captain's practices three times a week just to get people knowing each other and used to playing real well together," he said. "We wanted to make sure everything was flowing really well."

Daniels said expectations are high for a number of reasons this season. For one, he said the Lions have a proud tradition that they want to live up to. In addition, Daniels and fellow seniors Mike Bayless, Brad Mock, Shawn Jung, Ty Thackston, Steve Parker, Bobby Hamilton, Alex Brettman, Brandon Rimmey and Nolan Bohannon have dedicated plenty of time to the program during their first three years and all want to end their careers on a high note.

"We've been building up since freshman year," Daniels said, "so we need to do something big this year."

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