By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Keep your roster handy when watching the Logan-Rogersville Lady Wildcats.
The Lady Wildcats will have a new look after graduating one of the biggest – and most accomplished – senior classes in program history.
With a lineup overhaul ahead, the 2021 Lady Wildcats will feature many players who are getting their first shot at varsity competition.
“We have some good players, it’s just a matter of plugging them in and getting them to work together,” said coach Brett Wubbena. “In a way, it’s like we’re getting to know a whole new group because we haven’t seen them play for a couple of years.”
Senior defender Laiken Leonarduzzi returns with vital experience and skill level.
“She’s such a good defender and leader on our team,” Wubbena said. “She’s very coachable, sees the field, has great speed and is so hard to get past.”
Logan-Rogersville looks to have some depth along the midfield, starting with seniors Sophia Bleau and Audrey Davis.
“Sophia can control the ball if you need it or pass it,” Wubbena said. “Audrey’s an intelligent player who has good control as well.”
Juniors Kaitlyn Standefer (midfield/defender) and Olivia MacPherson (midfielder/forward) provide positional versatility for the Lady Wildcats.
“Kaitlyn sees the field well and can pass and score,” Wubbena said. “Olivia’s fast and a sneaky player who can catch teams off-guard.”
Junior Lori Ann McClellan (midfield/defender) is one of the team’s most improved players. She gives the Lady Wildcats some playmaking ability.
“She’s improved a lot since her freshman year,” Wubbena said. “She has moves and can pass the ball.”
Sophomore twins Kita and Nikki Wood (midfield) will look to make a big impact in their varsity debuts.
“Kita reads the field and can defend well. She loves to make that killer pass,” Wubbena said. “Nikki loves the game. She’s a strong, determined player.”
One newcomer to watch is senior defender Kierra Clark, who played well during 7-v-7 tournaments in the offseason.
“She’ll be a solid defender for us,” Wubbena said.
From there, practices and scrimmages will determine who else earns playing time for the Lady Wildcats, Wubbena said.
“Our team will have to be less reliant on one or two players and have more of a team-focused effort,” he said.
In one of the best seasons in program history, the Lady Wildcats went 17-7-1 in 2019 and captured a district championship.
Many of the key players who led the Lady Wildcats to that district championship were set to return to the pitch in 2020.
Logan-Rogersville graduated eight seniors from its 2020 squad, a big hit to any Class 2 program.
“Last year was really hard because we had a big group of seniors that meant a lot to me and our program,” Wubbena said.
Sophia Nixon leaves as the program’s all-time leading goal scorer, tallying 114 in three seasons. As a junior, she had 56 goals and seven assists.
“In my mind, she was the most impactful player around,” Wubbena said. “She had tons of goals and tons of speed. She was a great leader and her determination to win was outstanding.”
Lexie Vernon was a playmaker in the midfield. She had 18 goals and a team-high 22 assists as a junior.
Wubbena described Shelby Ince (four goals, six assists) as “our warrior.”
Madison Hays (five assists) and Courtney Fore (three goals, three assists) are also gone from the Logan-Rogersville lineup.
“Madison had great vision and passing ability,” Wubbena said. “Courtney was always willing to do anything. She was a great utility player for us. She played on the wing, defense, midfield and even forward.”
In the back, Logan-Rogersville graduated defensive center-mid Bri Bieller and defender Margaret Caldwell, along with goalkeeper Jessy Bond.
“Jessy was a fantastic goalie,” Wubbena said. “Margaret understood the game well and had a great work ethic.
“Bri had a great season as a junior. She would have been outstanding last year.”
Logan-Rogersville will play Springfield Catholic (host), Ozark and Republic in a jamboree on March 12
The Lady Wildcats start the regular season March 23 at home against Fair Grove.