By Chris Parker
New Covenant soccer posted a 9-10-4 record last season. That was the most wins for the Warriors since they won nine in 2010.
Coach Eric Crain enters his 12th year as the head coach of the program and has the pieces for a big season returning.
Senior leading scorer Luke O’Dell returns at forward coming off of a first-team all-district selection last season. He found the back of the net 17 times and added three more assists to tie for the team lead in points with 37.
“Luke has a great touch on the ball and see the field very well,” Crain said. “Luke has put a lot of time this past summer to improve his shots and he has become a great leader for the team.”
Dake Winslow and Noah Smothers both earned all-district honors in the midfield as freshmen last season. Winslow was key in the offensive attack with 10 goals and a team-high 16 assists. He finished second on the team with 36 points. Smothers chipped in eight goals and one assist.
“These guys (Winslow & Smothers) are intelligent players. They know when to attack and when to be patient. They have great touches and most of all they work hard,” Crain said.
Defensively the Warriors will be stout with all-district defenders Logan Jackson and Collin Farquhar.
“Logan is a true athlete and a competitor, so he quickly picks up concepts which allows him to adjust as the game changes,” Crain said. “Collin is a leader. He understands the game and is fun to watch as a coach. The guys on that back line respects him and his decision making.”
Jacob Oakley, Caden Moore and Josiah Barstead will see varsity time this year. Ryan Rodgers returns at keeper after registering 87 saves in 23 games last year.
“This year will be a fun season for us. We have a great relationship with each other and a lot of experience,” Crain said.
New Covenant will join Greenwood, Marshfield and Rogersville for a preseason jamboree on Aug. 17 at Cooper Sports Complex. The Warriors open the season on Aug. 27 at home against Bolivar.