FAIRBANKS, AK-Already this month we learned of Hutchison high school fielding a baseball team for the first time and their softball team is preparing for just their second season. Another 3A school, Monroe, is resurrecting its soccer program. The Rams haven't had a soccer team for boys or girls in about two years.
Scott Tompkins, a former Hutchison soccer coach takes over Monroe's program. The girls soccer team has a good mix of veterans and promising newcomers. The Rams have four seniors on this year's team and freshmen Brianna Lundgren who has some skill and potential but instead of the usual goals of winning a championship this team wants to experience what playing sports is all about.
"Definitely having fun that's our, my main goal at least and I'm hoping we all work really hard and everyone has fun. Because we, that's what sports are for," senior defensemen Brittany Johnson said.
Fellow senior Delainey Stokes thinks the team is coming along quite nicely.
"Um, they're doing pretty good right now we haven't learned that much about the game because, it's we're indoors so it's kind of hard. But they're doing really good on like, they're background skills and everything so it's really good."
One of the Rams promising newcomers, freshmen Brianna Lundgren, feels at home with this new program.
"They're really nice and they just kind of like help you get along with like the whole team and they welcome you like you're family."
"We'd like to just, get the ball rolling. Um, a lot of these girls are pretty green and we, you know, we also have some comp players. So...you know, we'll just how the season plays out but we just want to get in there and be competitive this year," Tompkins said.
Now for Monroe's boy's soccer team you have Tompkins pulling double duty. Yep. Tompkins heads both the boys and girls soccer teams at Monroe.
The boys soccer program has also been dormant the last couple of years but they have rejuvenated the program with some dedicated individuals. A number of players who play soccer are also on the track team. There are 15 players on the roster but since the Big C relays is going on this weekend in Anchorage, there were only 6 players at the Rams practice last night. But a couple of freshmen were not deterred and feel optimistic and excited about this team as a whole and this restart for Monroe soccer.
One of freshmen, Eric Grove, is confident about the makeup of the team
"It's our first year in awhile. I think we're gonna do some damage this year. We got a lot of freshmans but we also have three seniors that are really good, we got five comp players and we got a lot of speed."
"First year in high school, it's good to get familiar with the older classmen and you know, just play soccer," freshmen defensmen Grant Olson said.
"We are brand new. So we got to get our fundamentals down and more than that we need to work together as a team. We need to learn each other's uh, skills and weaknesses and...we're still trying to meld together," Tompkins said.
Tompkins is faced with almost no depth in either team. It's all about conditioning and the basics in his preparation for the soccer programs.
'My coaching approach is get them in shape, teach them the fundamentals, spread em' out, talk to them, get them communicating and we'll just see how it rolls out."