The Cannon Courier
The Cannon County High School girls' soccer team started preseason practice a few days ago under new head coach Dorinda Walker. The 2015 Lionettes has a mix of experience and new talent on this year's team. The team will open the season on Aug. 15 at the DeKalb County Play day.
"I think it is going well, and the girls are adjusting to the heat," Walker said during a scrimmage last week. "I think they are getting confidence with the drills and stuff because a lot of them have never played the sport. I can see they are growing, but we still have a lot of room to grow. I think they are putting forth everything they can put forth in the practice, and that is all I can ask."
The Lionettes are led by a trio of seniors including the returning leader scorer from last year's team, Livia Walker along with Baylee Nemeth, and Bailey Sims. The team will be looking to these three key players for leadership as they try to compete in the District 8AA as Walker will play up top as a forward, while Nemeth can play in the midfield and defense, and Sims will focus her talents on the defensive backline.
"It is going to help out a lot," Dorinda Walker said. "Out of your three seniors, they all play different positions. That is going to help with the leadership. We got a position player in each of the three areas that can lead. They all have really good attitudes, and that is very important to girls. They respond to a good attitude. I think the three seniors that I have all have those leadership capabilities."
As for the players, they are excited to be back on the pitch, and they are ready to start the season in a couple of weeks. So far, both of the players and coaches are pleased with practice early on during the preseason.
"I am really excited, but I think we can do really well this season," Sims said.
Livia Walker added, "They are going pretty good. I think some of us are getting the hang of it, and we are progressing each practice."
During the first few practices, CCHS has been working on getting the new players used to playing high school soccer while trying to figure out the right combination for the starting lineup this season. The week ended with the Lionettes playing a scrimmage against members of the boys' team and former alumni of the girls' team, which will help the current squad prepare for the season.
"Hopefully, it will make them tough," Livia Walker said. "I know playing boys, they are going to be harder and more aggressive. So that will help us be more aggressive and tough."
The Lionettes have several goals in mind this season, including finishing .500 for the second time in school history, which happened a couple of years ago with some of the same current players.
"That is going to be my goal to surpass that season, and I want to be competitive in every game that we have," Dorinda Walker said. "I would love to get through the season without any major injuries."
"We have the goal to have more wins than losses, and that has been a big thing for us because we have been so close these past two years," Sims said.
However, the players know it will take the team coming together as one in hopes for competing in the district this season.
"I think it will take dedication, determination, and playing as one," Livia Walker said. "We have been working on bonding and doing some stuff outside of practice like hanging out with each other."
The regular season begins on Aug. 20 at home against Marshal County at 6 p.m.