Senior-heavy Basehor-Linwood soccer takes aim at 4-1A playoff appearance
Basehor-Linwood soccer coach Austin Knipp is stressing the importance of technique early in the season.
Drills are run that emphasize passing, touch and dribbling the ball.
The Bobcats have gone through two-a-day practices with conditioning in the morning and traditional practices in the afternoon.
Knipp, in his first season as head coach of the Bobcats, likes the team’s work ethic so far.
The Bobcats are a senior-heavy team this season and return a core group of players who helped finish last season strong.
The seniors include Patrick Rutherford, Cory Stephens, Symon Seaton, Cameron Harvey, Trent Smith and Destry Bryan.
The class reminds Knipp of the group of seniors who graduated a year after he ended his high school career at BLHS. The team included Matt Murrell and Sam Seaman, and it made a run deep into the Class 4-1A playoffs.
Basehor-Linwood has similar goals this season, hoping to build on last season’s success. Throughout the offseason and early in practice, players have talked a lot about how well they played against eventual state champion St. James Academy last season. The Bobcats narrowly lost to the Thunder twice, and players believe they should have won those games, Knipp said.
Playing them close gives the team confidence.
“They believe in themselves and believe they do have a shot,” Knipp said.
While the state tournament is the goal and each player pointed to it when asked before the season about their goals, Knipp knows the Bobcats have a lot of progress to make before reaching that level of success. Players cannot lose focus on getting better each day.
“In the team meetings we have talked about understanding that they have to take it step by step and understand you can’t overlook anything in practice or games,” he said. “This team can grow immensely from now to the end of the season.”
In addition to the seniors, the other players on the team include Russell Clark, who is expected to play goalie, along with Caleb Wilson, Dakota Foster, Lane Young, Marcus Box, Preston Farris, Sammy Seaton, Spencer Himpel, Trey Kincheloe, Zach Klover and Zach Sawalich.
Basehor-Linwood opens the season Friday at De Soto.