By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.—Seven days worth of practices into their 2016-2017 campaign, there’s been improvement within the six-time Oregon West Conference Champions in the Stayton High School Eagles Boys Soccer Team as they enter the second half of the training, ‘pre-season’ sessions.
“I think we’ve gotten better since the first day,” said Stayton Head Coach Chris Shields. “Obviously I feel like we’re only to get better as we goes because we have a bunch of young kids that are still learning, having to explain the expectations and what needed to be successful.
“That’s the big one, making sure I’ve explained enough of what the expectations are and how it needs to happen in order for us to be successful.”
From a player’s perspective, Jose Gomez points to the improvements but knows what their Head Coach was saying during Tuesday’s evening practice at the soccer fields parallel to the Football Stadium rings true as well.
“I feel like we’ve improved from the beginning,” said Gomez. “We’re working better together as a team, and like (Coach) Shields said, we have to communicate more and play as a team. But I feel like if we keep playing, we’ll get better and better.”
As this team works on their passing to the goal, they know they have another week and a half until their opening scrimmage that will mark the start of their season.
“We’ve played pretty well against others this summer but that’s the summer, the summer is always different,” said Shields. “You know (McLoughlin) is a team we haven’t seen, they were a mixed bag last year with older and younger kids.
“They’re always a good team, well-coached and we have to play really well if we want to win that game. It’ll be nice to, especially against them, get the season off on a good note rather than on a note where we’re playing from behind.”
But it all about improving for the next few practices to continue to grow the confidence that any young or old team would need to start the season off right.
“Each training session, keep going 100-percent and improving more and more with each other,” said Gomez. “Like get more confident with each other and keep playing hard and just be ready for next week.”
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Some Pictures From Practice (Pictures By Jeremy McDonald)