Baldwin High soccer players aim to improve conditioning during early season practices
Despite losing all female players from last fall’s squad, Baldwin High School soccer coach Mark Joslyn has seen an increase in participants during the first week of practice.
The 2010 BHS soccer team had about 35 players, but it was a coed squad. In the spring, a BHS girls’ soccer team was approved for the fall 2012. The change didn’t affect the 2011 team.
After two days of practice, Joslyn has nearly 40 players out for his team. Many of the players return from last year’s squad.
“We have very good numbers,” Joslyn said. “We have a few more than last year, and we don’t have the girls here, so our numbers are up this fall. It’s a bigger team, and most of our guys from last year are back.”
The Bulldogs were schedule to begin practice Monday morning, but had to cancel because of lightning. Their first practice was Monday evening, so their only two-a-day was Tuesday.
“The first day, we got canceled,” senior Caleb Michels said. “That was disappointing. It’s nicer now and hopefully it stays this way.”
After battling heat in July and early August, Joslyn and his players are enjoying the cooler temperatures.
“You can’t beat this weather,” Joslyn said. “By the end of our practice, it’s very nice. I have a feeling it’s going to get hot again, so we’ll take this while we can.”
The dry, hot weather has also dried up many grassy fields. However, the irrigation system that was installed on the soccer field has helped keep it green and alive. In hopes of keeping it that way, the Bulldogs are practicing to the south of the field, on the empty lots, which are used by the track teams and physical education classrooms.
“We’re trying to keep our playing field young, if you will,” Joslyn said. “We’ll be over there sometimes, but we’ll use this space if we can.”
Like many BHS teams, the soccer squad had been working on fundamentals and conditioning during the opening days of the season. Conditioning is one area of focus for the Bulldogs’ coach.
“We’re not in as good of shape as I would like,” Joslyn said. “Some of them are in excellent shape as they worked out over the summer. Some of them continue to play all year round, so they’re in good shape. Others haven’t, so they are going to be working into shape these first few weeks.
“Right now, it’s all about basics. Although we have a better concept right now, because our returning players are back. So it’s still basics, but it’s at a little higher level.”
The BHS players are excited to be practicing with their teammates again after nine months since their last game.
“It’s good to see all of the guys here,” Michels said. “We had some show up off and on throughout the summer, but everyone is here now. We’re working on building our team chemistry.”
Baldwin will be hosting its purple and white scrimmage at 7 p.m. Friday.
“I’m very anxious,” Joslyn said. “Then one week later, we have our first game. It’s always good to see how they handle game situations.”