Rams nab second win of season
Jonathan Erickson of the Lacombe Composite High School Rams makes a kick as he collides with an Olds Spartan opponent during Central Alberta High School Soccer League action at M.E.Global Field on Monday. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The Lacombe Composite High School Rams boys’ soccer team doesn’t have the prettiest record, but they improved it Monday with their second mark in the win column.
Shutting out the Olds Spartans 2-0 on home turf at M.E.Global Field, they ended what was a tumultuous year of change for the team on a high note – one they hope to carry into this weekend’s final tournament.
“It was a great game,” said Head Coach Tracy Everett. “They finally came together. The key players that needed to be there showed up and played a team game instead of playing their own game, which was excellent.”
As of Monday’s result, the team is 2-5-0 on the season. It goes without saying they’ve had their share of struggles, including learning how to play as a team.
With the departure of Gregg Lockhart as coach following last season, Everett, who stepped in last minute himself, says he isn’t too surprised it took awhile for the team to come together.
“There’s a key group of guys and they’ve gotten used to a certain style of play and another coach comes in and it’s a different style,” he said. “I think it’s been a tough year, especially for the Grade 12’s.”
He said when the team started to get behind, certain players would try to create opportunities and offence on their own, rather than using their teammates.
That wasn’t the only struggle, however. After falling short of zone championships for the past couple of seasons, the team also dealt with a lack of commitment to the team. On Tuesday, just eight of 14 players were on the field for practice, which doesn’t help the team improve, either.
“We have a few players that don’t have the same heart as these guys do,” said Everett. “They have to be dedicated to succeed. Not coming to practices isn’t dedication.”
As for how to foster that dedication and desire to play soccer, he says he’s hoping to see high school soccer become a sanctioned sport in the fall – affording players the opportunity to compete in zone playoffs, provincial berths and something a little more than just a high school soccer title.
“Players might take it more seriously. If we have the sanctioning, it’ll be a little more legitimate,” he said.
Before then, however, they’ll play in the Central Alberta High School Soccer League final tournament this Saturday at the Edgar Athletic Fields in Red Deer.
While they likely won’t be in the mix for the final, the key to impressing is the same as the one that earned them their second win on Monday.
“They need to play as a team,” Everett said.
“These boys have gone through some tough times and I think they’ve learned from them. The core we have, they’re resilient.”