With so many options at Elmira District Secondary School, there’s not always enough players to field a team for each sport.
But this year, for the first time in five years, EDSS has its own boys’ soccer team.
Coach Sarah Hamilton said last week they were still nailing down the final team roster, prior to an exhibition game versus Bluevale Collegiate Institute at Bechtel Park in Waterloo on Mar. 29.
She said it was a good opportunity for the boys to all get lots of playing time and practice their positions ahead of Waterloo County Secondary School Athletics Association competition, which begins next week.
“There’s a big group of Grade 10s that we’ve got who are pretty strong soccer players and were really keen to have a boys’ soccer team. They were asking about it and there’s a couple of older players who have been asking for the last few years,” Hamilton explained of how the team finally came to be this year.
This is her first year at EDSS and she has coached soccer teams at previous schools, so she was asked if she would head up the boys’ team.
She sees this as a big building year, if nothing else, since they haven’t had a soccer team here for awhile.
“It looks like we have a strong team starting out right now but we haven’t faced any competition yet, so it’s hard to see what we’ll be like in comparison to other teams,” she said.
One of her goals this year is to build up a program here that other boys coming into high school will look forward to being part of.
Without access to the field, so far they’ve been working on their fitness.
“We’re doing a lot of conditioning, we’ve got another coach that’s helped us out and he’s kind of our conditioning coach. So we’re doing a lot of fitness stuff right now because we can only really work with gym space,” she said.
She hesitates to comment on their strongest assets this early in the season, but says they look to be strong defensively.
“Based off the skill that we have, we have a lot of depth on our team with a lot of players that are very versatile, that could be moved around easily,” she said.
And the boys are eager to get started. She says they all just want to get their green jerseys on and get on the field.
“They seem like a lovely group of boys that are just very excited to have a team here and show everyone that Elmira can compete with them.”
Their first WCSSAA game is Apr. 13 against Preston High School. Game time is 2 p.m. at RIM Park. They’ll play four more away games before they play in Elmira, due to the fields needing to be dry. Their Elmira games are May 2, and again on May 4 for their final two games of the season before the qualifying round for playoffs.