The Gold Standard
Fort Knox, KY | September 7, 2017
For the past two seasons, the Fort Knox High School girls’ and boys’ soccer teams have been challenged; the teams have had more losses than wins. That changed this summer when the coaches decided to take a different approach to coaching and conditioning. Two teams became one. The Lady Eagles dropped the “Lady” moniker for the girls’ team and both teams are now known as the Fort Knox Eagles.
The boys’ head coach, Michael Andersen, said teams’ conditioning began during the summer with the Fort Knox Child and Youth Services when the boys played in the summer league. Assistant coach Christopher Loring worked with the team in the summer league which helped them become better conditioned and well-prepared for the fall season when school began.
Although the team is 2-5, Andersen said they are using those losses to learn something after each game. When they lost 2-0 against Campbellsville High School Aug. 30, the loss was viewed as an improvement, said Andersen.
“We measure not only wins and losing … (it’s) playing better soccer and improving,” explained Andersen.
He added that the team’s captains also help hold the players accountable because they are highly motivated and, “ask the right questions. ‘Are you giving all you got as a player?’”
Andersen pointed out that the team is achieving great results with their passing game.
“I would like to see (the passing game) turn into a few more goals being made (and that) will turn into more victories,” Andersen said.
The girls’ soccer team head coach, Scott Gavre, also attributes his team’s 3-6 record to a structured conditioning program. He pointed out that last year only about six or seven girls would show up for the conditioning program and this year more than 30 showed up because the word got out about the new coaching staff. CYS was telling players about the high school’s program.
Another change this year; players had to try out for a spot on the team, explained Gavre. He said in the past players just showed up and filled the roster. This year, seven players returned from the junior and varsity programs.
“If you get a good group of girls you can work your core around, it’s easier for the other ones to catch up to speed,” he said. “They see how it’s supposed to be done (and) they react to peer(s) better than coaching, sometimes. We can give them the knowledge and the technique.”
“Having people who know and play the game is a big asset for us this year. Even though we only cut two from the tryouts, we have 31 players.”
Gavre added that one of the benefits of practicing with the boys each day is providing the girls with size competition and speed differences.
“We trained as a club, not as a girls’ team or boys’ team,” he said. “It helped because footwork is different. How they shield the ball is different (because) boys rely on muscle and girls rely on finesse. It worked well for both sides.”
Senior Victoria Sellers, the team captain, halftime becomes an opportunity to point out what needs to improve over the course of the game.
“The second half of the game, we have always played better because we had that chance to talk to each other and say what we’ve seen on the field as a whole,” said Sellers.
Junior Abby Donohue has
been on the team when the team didn’t win a single game but she’s seen improvement in this year’s team beyond wins. She’s noticed the bond that is stronger than years past.
“We’re one family,” said Donohue, the girls’ team captain. “We work well as a unit, more than I’ve seen in a couple of years. All our coaches this year have definitely contributed to our development this year.”