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Building from the basics
Teaching
FPCA soccer coach Tom Sukaratana teaches fundamentals to his young Lady Highlander squads. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
Only 2 years old, the First Presbyterian Christian Academy Lady Highlanders junior varsity and varsity soccer squads can best be described as a works in progress.
Soccer coach Tom Sukaratana said he is starting with the basics and fundamentals for his lady squads as many of his players range from the sixth to ninth grade. He has only one 11th grader and three 10th graders. Having a young squad does not stop the coach pitting his squad against some of the more experienced schools as they play out their season.
“We are a single-A school but there are no single-A schools that play soccer,” the coach said. “We have to play in double-A for region games but I chose to play at the Viking cup, triple-A level as well because it helps prepare them physically and mentally. They are young mostly sixth and seventh graders and most play club ball. They are more serious about the game and training them while they are younger makes them more consistent.”
Currently the varsity squad is 0-5. The JV played their first game Monday and won against Sherwood Christian (5-0) making them 1-0 in the season.
The JV squad is where coach sees the Highlanders future. He said the JV players tend to play year round club ball and are multi-sport athletes. But he is pleased with his varsity squad as players improve each game. It also includes multi-sport athletes like Sam Haas, Mystery Ellert, Andrea Bell and Catherine Scaggs.
“I prefer to play forward of course,” Ellert said. “That way I get a chance to score a goal.”
She also plays the mid-field where she helps the Highlander defense.
“Defensively I keep the ball away from the other team,” she said. “I like that I have good ball control and I’d rather have ball control than speed.”
Ellert hopes to play at in college for a school that has a good soccer program. But she also plays tennis, volleyball and softball. She hopes to find a school in the South.
The Lady Highlanders will host their region opener against Trinity Baptist on Monday with the JV at 3:30 and the varsity at 5 p.m. Trinity’s program is more than 10 years old.
“They have a pretty solid program,” the coach said. “We are going to try and do our best.”
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