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When it comes to success on the field this year, youth could be both a help and a hindrance for the Spencer County Lady Bears soccer team.
New coach Charlie Traughber said the team will have to rely on young players, but thankfully, those young players have shown considerable promise.
“Our freshmen class is a huge strength this year. Several freshmen will start and see significant playing time,” he said, noting that many of the young players have played on club teams and have developed well to this point.
However, relying on youth isn’t every coach’s dream.
“The fact that we will play so many freshmen does concern me,” said Traughber.
“These girls have been successful in their clubs in their age group, but now they need to perform versus girls two or three years older. That’s a significant difference.”
While that may lead to some inconsistency during the season, Traughber said there are some strong returning players that “will give us a lot more tactical flexibility this year.”
Traughber is in his first year coaching at the high school level, but he’s by no means new to the sport and has built up an impressive resume in soccer-rich Oldham County with youth and club teams.
He played soccer as a youth and during his days at Seneca High School, and even had a chance to play at the college level, but opted to focus on his studies. He later played on several adult teams.
He began coaching his nephew’s YMCA team, and continued to coach after his brother passed away, as it was the only way to keep his nephew interested.
He completed several Kentucky Youth Soccer Association trainings and holds a National D License and National Youth License with the U.S. Soccer Federation. He hopes to attend the C License course later this year.
He serves as VP of the recreational league in Oldham County and was named the 2010 Kentucky Youth Soccer Eurosport Girls Recreational Coach of the Year. However, he’s resigned that position to focus on the Lady Bears.
He’s worked with the girls this summer and was pleased with the squad’s performance in the Bluegrass Games. However, heat has hurt their ability to get as much training and practice time in as he’d like.
Conditioning will be important as Traughber said he favors an “aggressive style” of soccer, but knows it will take a while for the team to adapt.
“A lot of new players and a new coach makes this a transition year,” he said. However, he makes no excuses and has high expectations for this year’s team.
“Our goal is to advance out of districts and into the regionals. I believe we have the talent to accomplish that,” he said. If they reach that goal, then the coach said he’ll readjust his goals to something “a little more aggressive.”
“I’m very excited to be a part of the Spencer County program,” he said. He said he’s been welcomed warmly by the administration and parents he wants to see the program reach new heights.
The key to that will be for the players, beginning at the middle school level, to understand the importance of club soccer, giving them year-round experience and exposure to a variety of coaches.
“The successful schools are the ones that have players that play select club soccer throughout the year,” he said. “It’s important for us to educate the parents and players in the younger age groups the advantages of being in a developmental program of some sort.”
He said when you look at the really successful programs, that’s the one thing they all have in common.
Traughber seems to think if that commitment is there, there’s nothing that should prevent Spencer County from excelling.
“I can’t wait to get the season started to help Spencer County become the next girls’ soccer powerhouse.”
01 Madison Ratchford midfield/fwd Fr. 11 Jacqui Jones fwd So.
02 Libby Cox fwd Fr. 12 Hannah Jaggers midfield/fwd Fr.
03 Cheyenne McKinley midfield/def So. 14 Tiffany Devine midfield So.
04 Tori Palmer midfield Jr. 17 Cecilia Petersen midfield/def So.
05 Ardin Gregory midfield/def Sr. 18 Hannah Robards def/midfield Fr.
06 Shelby Lurie fwd/mid Fr. 19 Taylor Brian fwd Fr.
07 Paige Wimsatt midfield Sr. 20 McKenna Pfeiffer fwd/GK So.
08 Jasmine Thomas GK Fr. 21 Allie Stevens defense Fr.
09 Sierra Arbuckle defense Sr. 25 Alyssagrace Wente Def/GK Fr.
10 Jane Webster defense Jr.
Aug 17, 10 Oldham County away 7:00 PM
Aug 19, 10 Jeffersontown home 6:00 PM
Aug 21, 10 TBA at North Oldham 6:00 PM North Oldham Sun Classic
Aug 23, 10 Louisville Collegiate away 5:30 PM
Aug 25, 10 Pleasure Ridge Park home 6:00 PM
Aug 27, 10 Carroll County home 6:00 PM
Aug 31, 10 Kentucky Country Day away 6:00 PM
Sep 2, 10 Collins home 5:30 PM
Sep 6, 10 Shelby County away 5:30 PM
Sep 8, 10 Fort Knox away 6:00 PM
Sep 14, 10 North Oldham away 7:30 PM
Sep 16, 10 Henry County home 6:00 PM
Sep 20, 10 Bullitt East home 5:30 PM
Sep 22, 10 South Oldham home 6:00 PM
Sep 24, 10 Holy Cross (Louisville) home 6:00 PM
Sep 29, 10 Bullitt Central home 5:30 PM
Oct 2, 10 Southern away 12:00 PM
Oct 4, 10 Marion County away 6:00 PM
Oct 7, 10 Henry County away 6:00 PM