Friendswood building up roster
By L. Scott Hainline
If you listened to preseason chatter, Friendswood is a lock for a fifth straight region title and state tournament berth, but coach Laura Peter has more immediate concerns.
Like trying to replace the seven starters and nine total seniors we lost," she said. It's true, there are high expectations, but every team is different, and if I had to describe this one in one word, it's young.'"
The four-time defending region champion Lady Mustangs have cast a huge shadow, but with only one senior (for now), and three-to-four returning starters, they're in a fight to hold on to honors starting in District 42-4A.
People don't allow Friendswood to rebuild, they just say we reload, but it is truly a rebuilding year for the program," Peter said. We said goodbye to a core of solid players I had for four years, so this is a very, very different group.
And we won't have one of our top players, (senior forward) Annalisa Hall, until after basketball, and that could be into March and well into the second round of district."
Goalkeeper Miriam Mooney is the lone senior and one of the few returning starters.
The Friendswood name carries a lot of weight, and there's definitely a target on our back, so we're hoping the big bunch of young players can come through," Mooney said. We're working well together, and I'm still working on being more of a leader after having a crash course in leadership as a first-year goalkeeper last season."
Junior Makenzie Newkirk is a third-year starter in the midfield, sophomore defender Hannah Perry is another returning regular, and sophomore midfielder Bridget Richie started for Hall early on last season.
Newkirk has the most playing experience, and joins Mooney and junior Liz Kaltenbaugh as team captains.
Hall, a starter since her freshman season, is a standout on the basketball court and soccer field.
We won't see (Hall) for a while, so that puts even more responsibility on the young ones," Peter said. There is talent and a lot of potential, but right now, we have to overcome the inconsistency that comes with inexperience.
Because of the lack of seniors, were waiting on new players to step into leadership roles, and even though many of them watched last year, they were not on the field."
Today's roster has two seniors, including Hall, six juniors, nine sophomores and a freshman.
The exciting thing about being this young is we graduate only a goalkeeper and forward," Peter said, but it also makes for a big learning curve this year."
Friendswood won a state championship in 2001, but has been denied after advancing to state the past four years.
State is a long way down the road, so first things first, like becoming more consistent, and defending the district title," Peter said. Even talking about state is at the end of the list."
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