LAURINBURG — St. Andrews head soccer coach Bob Curtin doesn’t consider he’s ever been utterly ready for something in his life. However when his gamers absolutely perceive that they’ll “exit and have enjoyable, fly round and simply play soccer,” he believes his crew will probably be.
That’s been the message that Curtin and the St. Andrews teaching employees have voiced to their gamers all through apply, which formally started for the St. Andrews College soccer crew on Saturday.
“That’s what we try for,” Curtin mentioned. “We by no means actually hit that, however that’s the objective. After we get to that time, I’ll (say) that we’re utterly ready.”
Saturday’s first official day of apply was a walkthrough apply for Curtin’s crew. However on Sunday, the Knights had their first official contact apply of the 2023 season on the crew’s apply discipline.
“The primary couple of days (of apply) is at all times guaranteeing that we get the brand new guys, the transfers, the freshmen built-in into the way in which we do issues right here at St. Andrews,” Curtin mentioned. “And the youngsters are doing nice. It’s solely day 4 and we’re getting a bit of bit higher each day. In order that’s necessary to me.”
The Knights are coming off of a 1-10 general report in 2022, this system’s worst mark since St. Andrews’ inaugural season in 2017. However with Curtin coming into his second season because the crew’s head coach, the returning gamers have been in a position to get a full season underneath their belts with Curtin’s system and employees.
“After we first got here in final yr, we didn’t actually know what was occurring,” senior offensive lineman Marvin Farmer mentioned. “The entire teaching employees, we had an entire new one, so we didn’t actually know what to anticipate. We got here in, we had our struggles with studying the playbooks from a brand new teaching employees. So actually the vitality now could be lots higher. I imply, the younger guys that got here in, they’re out right here, they’re studying the performs. They’re doing lots higher than what we did our first three days of apply (final yr). So, it’s trying actually good proper now.”
“With the returners that now we have, virtually 50 of them, they perceive the expectation,” Curtin mentioned. “We’re much more disciplined, we’re much more exact in our actions and you’ll’t mimic that precision till you do it the way in which it must be completed over and over after which you possibly can progress and transfer on to the subsequent impediment or problem.”
A giant problem for the Knights this offseason has been deciding who will change Andrew Fowler, the crew’s beginning quarterback final season.
Curtin mentioned it’s been a battle between six signal-callers of their first yr on the crew — Jalen Dodd, Mason Value, Dylan O’Banks, Darius Holly, Matthew Douyon and Blaydon Blake.
“I feel in a pair days, we’ll begin to see some separation,” Curtin mentioned. “I feel the extent of competitors is basically, actually good. They’re choosing it up quick, extremely athletic. It’s going to be an awesome quarterback race down the way in which.”
The Knights have had a number of younger gamers step up at different positions through the 2-hour-and-10-minute practices, which Farmer believes comes from glorious recruiting.
“They did what they needed to do on the recruiting facet,” Farmer mentioned. “They’re displaying what they’ll do out right here. They’re nonetheless combating, everyone combating for place proper now, and that’s good. No one’s attempting to carry up on no one. Everyone’s attempting to battle for one.”
Curtin and his employees will look to resolve on their starters earlier than the crew’s season opener on Aug. 26 towards Webber Worldwide (Fl.) in Laurinburg.
“Webber (Worldwide) is a very good crew,” Curtin mentioned. “They’ve turned issues round. We’ve obtained numerous younger gamers, as you look via our roster. However…we are going to put our guys able to achieve success. I’m the kind of man that likes to work till the final minute and simply to guarantee that issues are completed in such a trend. The previous saying, don’t work until you get it proper, work until you possibly can’t get it incorrect sort of mentality. I feel we will probably be ready to compete on our opening day.”
Attain Brandon Hodge at [email protected]. Observe him on Twitter at @BrandonHSports.