Young soccer team presents drive to win

Emily Herrington, staff reporter

The De Soto High School varsity boys soccer team is looking forward to a more talented season this fall, despite a higher number of inexperienced players on the team this year.

After sporting through a losing season the year prior, the players have some new motivation. They are more eager to win than they have been in a while.

Head coach Darren Erpelding can attest to that. He said that with around six seniors and four returning starters, that the team has a majority of inexperienced players. This gives them an even stronger need to win the game. The team simply isn’t as experienced as it has been in the past.

“Last year was the first losing season in at least 12 years,” Erpelding said. “So the guys are really motivated from that.”

With some good practices together backing the team up, it doesn’t sound like they are too far off from winning. Even though the amount of inexperience is higher this year, the talent level and chemistry seem to be working out well for the team.

“I would say overall we aren’t near experienced as we were last season,” Erpelding said. “But the talent level is way higher. The talent is definitely going to help.”

After having played several games and winning, the team has plenty of time to make up for their losses. With seven games and many practices between where they are now and Regionals, they have plenty of room to improve.

Sophomore players Stephen Mitchell and Caesar Villa agree that there’s always something that they could work a little bit harder on.

“All we need to do is finish more. Shooting, scoring, and talking to each other better,” Mitchell said.

“Well, we struggle to put the ball in the net,” Villa said jokingly.

Although there’s always room for improvement in the world of athletics, Erpelding believes that the team has improved on being a team.

“Team chemistry has definitely gotten better,” Erpelding said.

As for getting the ball into the net more often, the only thing that could truly help them with that would be more practice time. Erpelding hopes the team continues to practice hard.

“Kids these days, they want to take time off. They just count on stepping onto the field and just winning,” Erpelding said. “It’s frustrating and I want that to stop.”

Between the high talent, growing chemistry and motivation to practice harder, the team can almost count on an improving season together and getting the ball into the net.