Soccer team optimistic on outlook
Moffat County Seth Young wasn't there last year, but most of his players were.
After four years of improvement for the Moffat County boys soccer team, including consecutive playoff appearances, last season was a down year.
Limited varsity experience and a struggling offense put the Bulldogs at the bottom of the Western Slope League with a 2-12-1 record.
With nine of 11 starters returning and twice as many athletes out for this year's team, Young, the first-year varsity coach, expects the progression to return.
"With a strong freshman class that includes at least one starter and an experienced group of seniors, we have potential to win," Young said. "Now they have to put it together."
Senior sweeper Tucker Bilodeau was one of a few players to start last year who had any varsity experience. This year, there's a difference.
"We know how to play at a varsity level," he said. "Our offense should possess the ball more, and our defense will be stronger."
The Bulldogs were outscored 66-15 last year but lost three games by two or less goals.
"Last year was a learning experience for all of us," senior goalie Mike Lefler said.
Young said he plans to make the strength of the team the midfield, and he'll build from there. He plans to teach his team to use more angled runs and to possess the ball more.
With more than 25 players out this year, the Bulldogs also will be able to build for the future with a JV team. That hasn't always been the case.
"With so many guys out it gives us the ability to have even more talent available," Lefler said. "In the past we haven't always had that much depth."
Young said he is optimistic about this year's results.
"We have a lot of skill on this team," he said. "What matters now is how they come together and play as a team."