High school soccer practice opens in the heat Soccer

High school sports practices are underway in the heat.

Temperatures soared past 100 degrees Thursday as local soccer teams held their fourth day of preseason training sessions.

“The kids are excited,” Bismarck High head coach Ricardo Pierre-Louis said. “It’s great to get out and get to work on the beginning of a new season.”

With games just over a week away, boys soccer teams are being careful about how much they expose their squads to the sun this early in the season.

“No matter how warm or cool it is, you have to regulate accordingly,” Legacy head coach Tom Marcis said. “We’re moving practices earlier in the day for the next few days, then making sure kids are well-hydrated.

“Coaching isn’t just about on-the-field stuff, it’s taking care of the athletes and making sure they’re in good health.”

People are also reading…

Pierre-Louis echoed similar sentiments.

“We want to keep the kids hydrated, and work on more tactical stuff where they can focus on learning through execution,” he said. “We cut down on practice outside a little bit.”

The Demons and Sabers met in the fifth-place game at the state tournament last fall with BHS winning 4-1.

Both teams bring back experienced rosters for the new season.

“Defensively, we’re returning most of the back half of our lineup, so we’ll be able to concentrate on finding out who will fill in on the offensive side of things,” Marcis said. “We’ll be working from the back half anyway, as we’re a possession-based team, and that gives us the ability to move some new kids in up front.”

“Last year we were pretty young,” Pierre-Louis said. “We came in last year having lost a number of players from 2020, so we were pretty happy with what we accomplished last year, particularly beating an undefeated Minot team and making it to the West Region championship with five or six sophomores starting.”

Both Bismarck and Legacy return their starting goalies, with All-WDA junior keeper Nate Olheiser returning to guard Legacy’s net and senior Drew Hendricksen seeing one last year of action for Bismarck.

“Having a senior goalkeeper in net, we can win some of the tighter games this year,” he said. “We’re thankful to have a few guys in the goalkeeper pipeline in the future, because goalkeeper is a position that can be forgotten about at times.”

Legacy also appears to have good depth in goal.

“Braxton Wetzel was our backup last year, but hurt his hand near the end of the season and will be moving onto the field to play defense for us,” Marcis said. “Liam Horner was a freshman last year, and he’ll probably be our backup varsity keeper this year (behind Nate Olheiser), but injuries or quality of play can change that.

“When you have a sophomore and freshman as your keepers, that’s a good place to be.”

Bismarck and Legacy both start their regular seasons against non-conference opponents. The Demons play at West Fargo Aug. 12. The Sabers host Fargo North on Aug. 13.

Pierre-Louis and Marcis have slightly different views on their approach to opener.

“It will set the tone right away, and hopefully allow us to build some confidence,” Pierre-Louis said. “They’re a good team coached by a good coach, and it’ll be a good game for us to start off well and have the right result and build confidence right away.”

“That game will give us an opportunity to feel guys out who can fill out certain roles,” Marcis said. “Last year that testing came on defense, this year it’ll be on offense. Having the crossover game will allow us to get ready for conference play and give us a better idea as to where everybody is at outside of practice before getting into conference. games.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button