Source: Sherman Publications

Wolves ready to take on fresh fall soccer season

by Wendi Reardon

August 24, 2011

Kickers opened their first week of games with two wins in the Traverse City Invite, Aug. 20.

The boys beat Traverse City Central, 3-2, and Petoskey, 2-0.

"We improved in both wins," said Chuck Lawhorn, Clarkston Boys Varsity Soccer Coach. "We still have a long way to go before we are a team that can compete at the highest level. I saw improvement in the two games but there is some work left to do."

The boys lost one game during the tournament to Traverse City West, 3-1.

The boys were up 1-0 at half time but after they came back the tides turned for the Wolves.

"We had a few injuries and some cramping," Lawhorn explained. "It was a long day."

Junior Conor Bright scored five goals during the tournament.

"It was fantastic," said Lawhorn. "He played outstanding."

Lawhorn added going into the rest of the season the boys look good after time training in the preseason and after playing their first round of games.

The roster includes a mix of upperclassmen and lowerclassmen, both returners and new faces.

"We are definitely positive about the season," he said. "There is room for improvement and we will get to a point where we are going to be competing at a real high level. We are trying to mix in some younger guys with older guys. It will take some time for us to get on the same page and gel. It is definitely coming together. "

A strength of this year's team is their goal scoring.

"Last year we struggled a little bit in that department," Lawhorn admitted. "This year I don't think we will have that problem. We have a few guys who are definitely natural goal scorers and they will cause problems for some other teams."

Another strength is having Bright, Ryne Jones and Spenser Pawlik back this year.

"Ryne is returning in center and midfield. He is a fantastic player when he is at the top of his game," Lawhorn added. "It is a big strength for us."

Pawlik started every game last year and Lawhorn said he will continue to start in this season as well.

The boys hosted their home opener on Tuesday against Waterford Mott.

"They always play hard," said Lawhorn, adding it will be a good game for the new players since they have only played on the road. "It gives them a chance to work their nerves out and play against a competitive Mott team."

The team heads to Lake Orion on Thursday, after closing last year's season to the Dragons last year on the Wolves' turf. The last time the boys saw them was for the first round of MHSAA Districts. Clarkston lost in double overtime, 2-1.

"We will definitely be ready for Lake Orion," said Lawhorn. "Itís not a hard game to get the guys pumped up for. It is a big rivalry for us. They came here last year and beat us. It was a real tough game. I donít think the returning guys forgot about that at all."

The boys head to Lake Orion on Thursday and host Waterford Kettering on Friday. Both games begin at 5:30 p.m. with the JV team, varsity follows.