The Jacksonville Fightin' Maiden soccer team continued its preparations for the 2014 season opener on Jan. 3, 2014 (vs. Lindale) Thursday afternoon at Mauldin Field by taking part in an inter squad scrimmage.
One of the anticipated results of the scrimmage, which also attracted college coaches from the East Texas area, was to solidify, or establish a starting line-up — to make things a bit easier for head coach Kiff Wiemers to be able to fill out the starting line-up card early next month.
What Wiemers saw on the field actually turned out to be a bit confusing; albeit in a most positive way.
“Seeing the scrimmage made my job more difficult,” Wiemers quipped. “We just have so much talent out on the field, that deciding who starts is really going to be difficult.”
Jacksonville not only returns a strong group of seniors which includes Gentry Hammons, Kennison Chambless, Rachel Stirneman, Victoria Servin and Yessenia Rico, but the incoming freshman lot is one of the stronger ones in recent years, according to Wiemers.
“We have a unique mix of quite a few upperclassmen that bring experience and leadership to the team, plus a number of freshmen that are extremely talented,” Wiemers said. “Right now I have a pretty good idea who can do what, but we are still trying to determine what combinations work best when combined together.”
The Maidens will continue pre-season practices up until time classes are dismissed for the holidays.
On Dec. 30 Jacksonville will come back early to host John Tyler and Mount Pleasant in warm-up scrimmages that will take place on three fields on the high school campus and also include each schools' junior varsity team.
Those dress rehearsals will be Wiemers final time to juggle the line up prior to the start of the regular season.
Getting back to Thursday's scrimmage,Wiemers said that he was pleased with the play of both of the Maidens' primary goalkeepers.
“Both Callie Reagan, last year's district goalkeeper of the year, and Angie Sanchez played well and made stops out there,” Weimers said.
Chambless and Stirneman, who is coming off of an injury that sidelined her for most of her junior season, also drew the praise of Wiemers.
“I thought Kennison and Rachel did a good job of moving the ball up and down the field and getting done what we needed them to do,” Wiemers said.
Two names that Maiden fans may want to get used to hearing are 9th-graders Stephanie Ruiz and Mia Ziedan.
“Stephanie and Mia are very skilled and will challenge for spots on the varsity roster,” Wiemers said.
Right at 50 young ladies dressed out for the scrimmage. Eighteen of that number were freshmen.