The Felicity boys’ soccer team is not having the season that they envisioned prior to kick-off of the first game, but the team is working hard through some rough patches to prepare themselves for a solid finish in the next few weeks.
“We’re having kind of a growing season,” head coach Vicki Wehrum said. “We’re not winning as many games as we have in the past. We have a lot of people who haven’t played for several years. We have a lot of youth on the team and we’re just not winning the games like we would like.”
At 1-7-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the Southern Buckeye Conference, the Cardinals got out of the gate slowly losing three of their first four games, three of which were against conference opponents. Felicity did manage a draw against Blanchester on Aug. 30, and broke into the winning column a little over a week later with a 3-2 victory against Ripley-Union, but success has been fleeting in 2012.
The Cardinals have six seniors on the team, but have lost a couple of key players to graduation from last season’s 9-7 squad that finished second in the SBC National Division behind Batavia.
Of the seven All-Conference selections, six were lost to graduation including three First Teammers. The fourth First Team selection, Bradlee Prather returns for the Cardinals and Wehrum has been impressed with his play thus far.
“Brad Prather is the senior who has the most experience on the team,” Wehrum said. “He is the leader, he is the captain and he hasn’t done a whole lot of scoring this year, but he is always working hard and probably has the most goals on the team.
“I’d say that he is a key factor for our team as far as being a leader and a captain.”
Along with Prather, Felicity gets some senior leadership from Aaron Housh, Angelo Quiles, Chris Smith, Jordan Clark and Shane Reese.
On the bright side for Felicity, the team has a lot of youth and players that could lead the team back to its winning ways. A group of five juniors are getting experience every game as well as a solid group of underclassmen that will take the torch from the seniors once their time at Felicity is through.
Although the slow start is not ideal, the Cardinals have a chance to save the season in the next few weeks as they get a second shot at a number of the teams in their division.
Wehrum’s squad will get a little tune-up for their end-of-the-season push by playing a couple of the bigger schools from the American Division in the next few weeks before closing out the season with three-straight division games.
“We’re hoping to keep working really hard and when we play the teams that are in our conference, we hope to take the opportunity to turn it around.
“We have a little more experience now and hopefully we can get a few more wins in before the end of the season.
“We play some teams that we’ve already played, so hopefully we can learn from what we did before and fix that the second time.”