Cavs hope for turnaround

Published 9:14 pm Friday, April 21, 2017

Lakeland High School’s boys’ soccer team has gone through challenges this season and is ready for a turnaround.

Conference play is starting for the Cavs, and they are hoping it will present a chance for something different than they’ve experienced so far.

Conference games essentially represent a new season, as all those games count toward the postseason. Cavs coach Austin Kulp said his team has had its share of challenges in the first half of the season.

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“The guys are sticking together,” Kulp said. “We have had a few challenges, but the guys are still playing soccer. They are not out there kicking and running; they are trying to get each other involved and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”

The speed of the game for Lakeland is different when it plays Southeastern District games as opposed to conference games. Kulp takes the SED games as a teaching opportunities for his team.

“Playing against the teams we play in the SED is good for the boys,” he said. “The speed and style of the play at that level is worth the experience you get playing those kind of opponents.”

Once the conference games start for the Cavs, they will take things one game at a time as they face more opponents with similar skill levels. Kulp believes his team his leaps and bounds ahead of where it was after SED play last year.

The Cavs like the direction the team is headed, as everyone is improving together.

“We don’t have a lot of players, but we have a solid core group,” Kulp said. “They like to train and work hard. They’re all like sponges. They want to soak up everything and get better. As a coach, that’s all you want. They have the right attitude.”

The Cavs don’t have many subs on the team, which causes its own difficulties. However, Kulp hopes to get more students involved with the soccer program to improve the team’s depth.

Lakeland will face Deep Creek High School on the road at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.