Basehor-Linwood soccer squad perseveres through two-a-days
Soccer players show up early in the morning and run, hustling through conditioning drills designed to help them play better in close games.
Then they clean up and go to class.
Following a long day at school, they return to the practice field. They stretch and then break out the soccer balls for a few more hours of work.
The two-a-day practices have afforded coach Jaclyn Naster and assistant coach Austin Knipp the opportunity to ensure the team is focused for its early-season games. Basehor-Linwood opens the season at 6 p.m. Friday against De Soto in a home game.
Practices have gone well so far, and the coaches are excited about what the future holds.
“I am very impressed with the boys’ work ethic,” Naster said of early practices. “It is very obvious to me and coach Austin Knipp that these boys are willing to work hard in order to have some success.”
Early in the season, BLHS players will work on moving the ball and finishing on scoring opportunities.
The coaches stress the leadership and teamwork. Unity headlines Naster’s focus this season.
“Soccer is a team sport, and when players are only worried about themselves a team will always struggle,” she said. “I want to emphasize that the team is what is most important and our choices should always benefit the team, not just the individual. Once that concept is fully understood, our soccer play will be that much better. We pass well, defend well and work hard. I do believe that our finishing has improved since last year, so I am excited to see how we look in a game.”
The Bobcats finished 4-11-1 last season, but lost a number of games by one goal. The team also lost a talented group of seniors from last year’s team including Tanner Bowers and Justin Gripka.
Basehor-Linwood returns two seniors in goalkeeper Ryan Lawless and Beau Himpel. Himpel played forward last season. The Bobcats also have a talented junior class of players including Symon Seaton, Patrick Rutherford, Cory Stephens and Destry Bryan.
The Bobcats have a string of early games this season. After playing De Soto, they’ll play host to Atchison on Sept. 1 and Tonganoxie on Sept. 3.