YORK — The York Comprehensive High School boys soccer team is undergoing a youth movement.
First-year head coach Ricky Johnson, an assistant coach before this season, is optimistic about the future of boys soccer at YCHS.
We are a young team playing six to seven ninth and 10th-graders, Johnson said after Fridays 4-0 home loss to perennial power Northwestern. We have only two seniors on the varsity roster.
The Cougars were competitive against the visiting Trojans, but were unable to muster enough offense to narrow the gap.
We play in a tough region, noted the YCHS coach. The Rock Hill schools have Manchester and a lot of players with club soccer backgrounds. We have some playing club soccer, but its not enough.
Fourth-year senior soccer participant C. J. Lewis feels the YCHS program is making strides.
We are a young program that is on the rise, said Lewis. The key to success is to develop team chemistry, players learning to rely on each other.
Lewis doesnt consider himself to be a vocal leader, but makes an attempt to impact younger players. I try to lead by example, hoping the younger players will follow, he said.
Sophomore Buddy Anderson, a second-year varsity participant who is the placekicker for the Cougar football team, is a key player in both sports.
I play club soccer in the fall as well as football, he noted. This helps me make the transition.
Anderson, part of the teams youth movement, is confident the boys soccer program is moving forward.
We are a young team building a program, he said. We have players who are learning the basic fundamentals of the sport, how to get into the flow of the game.
Anderson agrees with his coachs sentiments regarding the teams future status. Its likely we will be more competitive two years from now, he said.
Though Johnson knows the YCHS boys soccer program hasnt reached the level of play of the established programs in the county, he is confident there are better days ahead for the Cougars.
He believes by the time the current sophomores are seniors, the Cougars will be closing the gap on the Rock Hill schools. I am excited about the players we have and where the program is headed, Johnson said.
Johnson lauded the YCHS jayvee soccer team for its win over Northwestern Friday. The jayvee team previously defeated Fort Mill, he noted. Their success bodes well for our future.
The varsity Cougars will host rival Clover Thursday at the YCHS stadium. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. Following Thursdays region showdown with Clover, the Cougars next action will be an April 9 game at Fort Mill.