Patience, just might be the early theme for the 2017-2018 Bluejays soccer club.
So far this season, they’ve had to don their innovative hats in order to keep their skills and soccer development from slipping.
“It would be nice to actually get out and practice soccer, instead of doing makeshift drills in the gym,” head coach Gary Overla noted. “We have a scrimmage against Urbandale on Thursday, [March 29] and we haven’t even seen a formation yet. Somewhat worried at this point. I can only hope that other programs have faced the same challenges as we have.”
The veteran coach has been hoping to get some meaningful workouts in before the season kicks off on Saturday, March 31, when Perry hosts their annual tournament.
“I hate to say this but Saturday’s tournament may actually be a high stakes practice – can you lose a practice,” coach said. “Oh well, we’ll survive.”
Unfortunately, Overla and his squad had to bide their time just a few extra days, as their own tournament was postponed until May 5.
When the season finally kicked off, this team will look to build on what last year’s Bluejays accomplished.
Their predecessors finished with a 16-6 record and advanced all the way to the state tournament where they finished fourth overall. Overla is hoping his team moves even a tiny step further.
“All of our players know what our expectations are and as a group we all know what the team goals are,” he said. “I would hope that each and every one of them would take it upon themselves to make those goals a reality.”
According to the head coach, there are just a few goals, which he felt are simple. Compete for the conference championship; Compete for the substate championship; Get to state to win one and play three.
“We expect to give 100% effort in practice and on the field,” Overla said. “We expect our athletes to be students first, and we expect our kids to compete at practice and at games.”
Goals aside, Overla will look to his veteran players for leadership even though, since practices have been scarce, he is not sure who will separate himself from the pack.
“I don’t know if I would single out any one person or group of persons who are going to step up and lead the team,” he said.
Perry opened up their season at home when they played host to the Winterset Huskies on April 3. They were back on the Dewey Field on April 5, for a game versus the Carlisle Wildcats.