By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– It’s not surpring that Cascade Girls Soccer has been dominate over the last four years under Head Coach Skip Collins.
What is slightly is the low numbers that they have in 2017, roughly 24 girls this season with 12 on varsity and 12 on junior varsity.
“Any times a program is low in numbers, it’s going to hurt but the thing is that there’s going to be a lot of playing time for both teams,” said Collins. “Inexperience and excitement, that’s why we play this game. Is it going to be hard? Yeah. Is it going to benefit us? It could, it could also hurt us too especially if we get injuries.
“We’re complementing doing one team, just a Varsity team so I’ll know more on that most likely probably Thursday. School hasn’t started yet, so you always get a couple kids coming out.”102
With the bulk of the team returning in terms of starters outside of Elisa Kanoff and Halle Wright (Wright will still be apart of the team though she is still recovering from her knee injury from basketball season a few months ago), Collins mentioned six seniors who all had been Varsity all four years:
Wright, Emma Woods, Kelsey Molan, Brooke Petterson, Maliah Russell, Riley Banger know what it takes to help run the Collins system as the Faith Craig’s, Nyah Collins’ and company joined them on the Varsity level over the course of the past few years as they make a run one last time themselves while helping the younger kids take over for them next year.
“It’s really nice because we all played really nice together and knowing what each other’s going to do,” starts Molan on the six seniors played together over the past three years. “It’s really important know when the large amount of seniors leave so they can see how to lead and talk.”
Woods points to two ways that they, as a team, that they could take it as a negative or turn it into a positive with what they have this season, and it’s no surprise that, under Collins guidance, they are thinking positively about the cards they have been dealt.
And this year’s seniors like Woods know that with those younger players swinging up this year, it’ll give those younger plays a chance to play alongside them as seniors and see what it’s like before it is their turn in 2018.
“We’re going to get a lot of playing time, a lot of experience, it’s going to help them that much more,” said Woods. “Getting all that playing time, getting to play with us because they will sub-in because we’ll need subs, so they’ll get to play besides us and just set the example. Show them what they should be doing, communicate.
“Communication is super key, it took us seniors a long time to get a hang of that and now that we’ve played so long together, it’s easy now. To pass that skill on to them, will really help them.”
Woods remembers as a freshman and a sophomore herself learned so much playing with those upperclassmen and wanting to emulate them as much as she can, now she can do the same this season with those younger than her before she graduates in a few short months.
And with Coach Collins announcing team captains for this upcoming season under the smoky skies that not just put a damper on practice Tuesday afternoon, but also canceled Wednesdays game versus Hidden Valley and pushing back their first game to Thursday versus Junction City at 4:30pm at home; it should be a interesting season for the Cascade Cougars Girls Soccer team in 2017.
Few Pictures By Jeremy McDonald