Granby " Middle Park girls soccer team kicks off season Friday | SkyHiNews.com

Granby " Middle Park girls soccer team kicks off season Friday

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Middle Park High’s girls soccer team will kick off its 2008 season far from the snow and ice of Grand County this weekend in a tournament at Colorado Springs.

The Lady Panthers will be one of eight teams competing in the Mesa Ridge Tournament Friday and Saturday. In the season-opening game starting at 2 p.m. Friday, Middle Park will play Fountain Fort Carson, a Division 4A team.

“In the past, we have beaten them and I feel confident that we can win again,” said coach Molly Sargent. “Based upon the results for Friday’s game, we’ll be playing two additional games Saturday.”

Due to injury and illness that is leaving the team a bit shorthanded, Middle Park will be fielding only 18 of its current roster of 35 players at the season-opening tournament this weekend.

The Lady Panthers expecting to compete at the Mesa Ridge Tournament are: Andie Huston, Cassie Strang, Jaime Sutton, Emily Hetzler, Angela Malley, Anna Conrad, Lindsey Birdseye, Shelley McLean (manager), Kristin Van Horn, Makenna Morck, Ryndi Zastrow, Brittany Gardner, Kathryn Woodard, Cindy Hobbs, Kaylee Findley, Ashley Chase, Hannah Levett, Paige Phillips, Lisa Hobbs and Kylie Delphia.

“We are hopeful that this first opportunity to play at a tournament will allow us to show the great strides that we’ve already made because of our new indoor soccer facility in Granby,” Sargent said.

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While only about half the size of a regulation soccer field, the indoor soccer facility is a huge improvement over what the Lady Panthers have used in the past.

Due to deep snow that usually exists in Grand County in mid-February when their practices officially begin, Middle Park’s players have had to train on the basketball court in Middle Park High’s gym which is only one-tenth the size of an outdoor soccer field. While also being much larger, the new facility’s field is covered with artificial turf.

“It’s been a tremendous gain in perspective for our players,” Sargent said. “The new facility will help them transition to a real playing field.”

Along with the big boost from being able to practice in the indoor soccer facility, the Lady Panthers are also working on building and improving team spirit.

“We recently had our first annual team dinner hosted by the Suttons,” Sargent said. “We had a great turnout with 95 percent of parents and players attending.

“At the dinner, the coaches presented each player with a seashell, representing their uniqueness and individuality that contributes to our program. Each seashell is unique but it has a common goal.

“We also presented the team necklace where each player is represented by a bead. It is given to a player who then passes it on to the teammate who displays pride and honor for our team.

“And lastly, we held a goal-setting session to get ready for this first tournament and the season.”

Sargent explained these are all part of an effort to promote and develop team camaraderie.

“We are really focusing on developing real team chemistry and an overall program cohesiveness among our players, parents, coaches and community members,” she said.

The 2008 girls soccer team is being led by three senior captains ” Emily Hetzler, Cassie Strang and Jaime Sutton.

“These three have already displayed great leadership through our fundraiser in February and during our day-to-day practices,” Sargent said.

The current roster for the 2008 Middle Park High School girls soccer team is: Emily Hetzler, Andy Huston, Angela Malley, Cassie Strang, Jaime Sutton, Lindsey Birdseye, Anna Conrad, Brittany Gardner, Kristin Van Horn, Ryndi Zastrow, Ashley Chase, Kaylee Findley, Cindy Hobbs, Makenna Morck, Hannah Levett, Kelsey Petersen, Carin Reeter, Jacklynn Coucke, Kaylee Findley, Allie Gardner, Cindy Hobbs, Lindsey Jones, Alanah Lefebvre, Emily Little, Reed Caldwell, Janni Conrad, Hannah Davidson, Kylie Delphia, Emily Huse, Lisa Hobbs, Kaileigh Nicklas, Paige Phillips, Bailey Roberts and Kathryn Woodard.

The team has three managers ” Shelley McLean, Khyla Burrows and Hugh McDonough. Sargent praised the commitment to the team shown by McLean and Burrows, who are former players sidelined this season due to injuries.

The coaching staff of the 2008 team includes Sargent, Byron Hetzler, Jeff Poe, Simon Levett and Dane Ruttenberg.

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