The Grand County Red Devil girls soccer team opened mandatory practice Monday, Aug. 12 with new faces and enthusiasm for the 2013 season.
The Red Devils lost key contributors to graduation from respectable 2012 season in which they placed second in 2A East play and were ousted in the first round of the state playoffs, but return much of their core, including four seniors to this point in the preseason, and have an athletic group of incoming freshmen joining the squad.
“We’ve got lots of returning sophomores and juniors with about six freshmen thrown in,” Grand soccer coach Mike Camps said. “Each of the incoming freshmen have played soccer for a long time.”
Camps said he expects to see a lot of growth from his sophomores and juniors.
“After they come in as freshmen, learn the game and get more competitive, their game changes immensely,” he said.
Grand’s region opponents in the re-aligned 2A Central will include 2012 2A East champion Manti, 2012 2A West runner-up American Leadership, Gunnison, North Sevier and South Summit. Camps said he expects Gunnison and Manti to present the greatest challenges to the Red Devils.
“Gunnison and Manti I expect to play high caliber soccer,” he said. “We alwas have a good time playing against them.”
Camps had yet to announce team captains or outline goals for the season as of Friday, April 9, but he said he expects his seniors to step up lead the team with large contributions from juniors Kaitlyn Pfinister and Abbie Camps and he expects the athletic crop of incoming freshmen to step up, being notably impressed by the play in voluntary workouts of newcomer Elly Kelley.
Senior Miranda Shumway said she is excited for the upcoming season and expects the team to play well, despite the influx of youth. She said for the team to gel together, it will take lots of hard practice and commitment to the game.
The Red Devils open their 2013 season at home at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10.