(Sept. 6, 2013) Nine of Coach Jamie Greenwood’s 18 players are seniors and he will count on them to lead the 2013 Stephen Decatur boys’ soccer team.
“Most of them have been with the program for four years, so they know the system,” said Greenwood, who has coached the varsity squad for seven seasons. He was named the 2011 and 2012 Bayside South Conference Coach of the Year.
Returning this season are 11 veterans from last year’s team, which posted a 10-4 record and lost 4-0 in the second round of the 3A East Regional tournament to River Hill. Eight players, most of whom were starters last year, graduated.
“They’re talented and we have a lot of experience, but we have some major gaps to fill,” Greenwood said. “We’re still working to fill those spots. We’re playing people in different positions to see what unit works best together.”
Greenwood will look to senior forward Nick White (2012 All-Bayside Conference First Team) to run the offensive line. In 2012, he netted 14 of the team’s 61 goals. White, a four-year player, was nursing sprained ankles last week.
“I’ll definitely take a big role in leadership … as soon as the first game starts for us, I’ll be able to prove that and hopefully we can come out with a win,” White said. “We’re slowly getting better each day, but there’s room for improvement everywhere. We just want to come out as hard as we can and win every game.”
Senior Jared King (All-Bayside Honorable Mention), a two-year member of the team, will lead the defensive effort at center back/sweeper, Greenwood said.
“I have a pretty good understanding of the defensive third of the game [and] Nick usually takes control of the offensive third,” King said. “I’m pretty good at organizing the defense. It’s a lot of communication.”
Greenwood will rely on senior David Bernal-Clark to command the midfield. Logan Thumma (Honorable Mention), a senior, returns in the goal for the Seahawks.
Greenwood said he has seen some good things from his players during preseason, but there is still work to be done for the squad to be successful.
“We have a lot of individual talent we need to harness,” Greenwood said. “I don’t think the kids are playing to the best of their ability right now, but I know they have it in them. The game mindset is not there yet.”
Greenwood said the Seahawks have the potential to win 10 games again this season and compete for the Bayside championship. King said the Seahawks also want to beat their Salisbury rivals, the James M. Bennett Clippers and the Parkside Rams, this year.
Decatur was the Bayside South top team in 2011 and 2012 and won the conference title two years ago.
“We’ve had a good run … I don’t see why we can win it again,” Greenwood said. “I’m anxious to get (the season) going and see where the chips fall.”