Knights look for leaders
By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Dec. 11, 2003
COLLINSVILLE The West Lauderdale High School boys' soccer team returned eight starters from last season's team to the mix for the 2003-04 campaign.
While the high number of returning players has helped the Knights (11-0-1) on the pitch, head coach Bud Brown said the squad is still missing leadership.
West Lauderdale lost four seniors to graduation, C.J. Sontain, Tyler Shelton, Clay Logan and Jeff Marchese, and Sontain and Shelton provided the Knights with strong, vocal leaders on the field.
Of course with only one tie and no losses, West Lauderdale is probably not too worried about finding a field leader.
The Knights lack of one dominate voice to guide the team through the 80-minute matches is offset by the high number of returning starters from last season.
Goalkeeper Scott Truesdale returned to man the net for West Lauderdale, and the defense returned Jay Joyner, Josh Sonak, Michael Pogue and Ross McWilliams to the backfield.
On offense, strikers Anthony Thomas, Josh Herrington and Zach Chisolm are manning their same spots from last season, and Ross McWilliams has returned to his midfielder spot to help the team with its transition from defense to offense in the middle of the field.
The Knights have also been bolstered by new contributors on the field.
West Lauderdale freshman forward Jarrod Moulds highlighted a part of the team's new found firepower with two first half goals against the Neshoba Central Rockets on Dec. 1 to lift the team to a 2-1 victory.
One thing that doesn't need to be improved is the West Lauderdale's defense.
Anchored by Truesdale in net and Sonak in the sweeper position, the Knights have only given up seven goals this season. West Lauderdale has scored 41 this year.
Communication has been a key factor the team has worked on this year to provided crisper passes for the squad to move up and down the field.
The Knights have also focussed on developing more scoring chances from cornerkicks and throw ins.
So far the Knights have clicked on the pitch, as the team which has finished as runner up in the South in four out of the last five years tries to make the next step to win a state crown.