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As soccer continues to grow in popularity in Carroll County, more opportunities have been opening up for children to take part. This is the second year for the Carroll County Middle School’s co-ed program, and it has increased its numbers since last year.
Head coach Lillian Scott said Carroll County High School head coach Greg Damron, who also has a middle school-age son, and a group of parents tried to form the program in 2010 and really got the ball moving. The middle school agreed to start the program last year, and Scott and Trevor Peterson agreed to coach. Scott and Peterson are both assistant coaches on the girls’ and boys’ high school teams, respectively. Andrea Carr also serves as volunteer assistant coach for the middle school team.
While the team played all of their games co-ed last season, it has split up into girls only and boys only for many of the matches this season, Scott said. However, they all practice together. The girls are 0-5-2, while the boys are 3-3-1.
“We put a lot more focus on developing the players and the team,” Scott said. The team has strict team rules emphasizing having positive attitudes and coming to practice. “We’d rather play committed, positive players than play to win.”
Having the middle school team has allowed more students to get playing time and experience, both for the beginners and for those who are already playing on the high school JV team, Scott said.
It also has introduced a lot of girls to soccer, which will help support the girls high school team that has only been in existence for two seasons.
“I enjoy it all, actually,” Scott said, when asked her favorite part about coaching the team. “Just learning from them as well as (trying) to coach and guide them, not just in soccer but in life.”
The eighth grade girls will play with the boys against Frankfort Tuesday, May 8 for the final game of the season at home. The game will be at 6 p.m. at the county park.