Kick-starting a program
There are many girls who play high
school soccer in
The Minford Lady Falcons soccer team took the field this fall, becoming the first girls prep team in the area in 17 years.
The team was formed in July after several girls came out for the boys team.
surprised when they cam our,” Minford coach Dave Munion said. “When we started conditioning July 21, I had
about nine girls out. We officially
started practice on the fourth. Once we
got the (
With so many girls out for soccer, the coaches went to the school to see it they could form a girls team. The school didn’t want to pay for the additional coaches, so the boys’ staff volunteered.
“It’s been a lot of work on myself and the coaching staff,” Munion said. “We’re pulling double duty with the boys and the girls. We donated our time to the school. We’re going to do it for free for two years and see where we’re at.”
then needed opponents. With just a few
weeks before the season opened, Minford athletic director Jim Parkes and Munion
got a 10-game schedule put together. The
Lady Falcons have home-and-away games against Russel,
“Jim Parkes has worked hard,” Munion said. “He’s spent lots of hours on the phone. I’ve called some coaches and he’s called the schools and talked to athletic directors. We’ve got to travel, but that’s the sacrifice we have to make.”
Munion would like to see more competition close to home. He believes that Minford’s team can give the rest of the Southern Ohio Conference a reason to put together teams of their own.
For now, he will have to concentrate on bringing his team along. The Lady Falcons are young – only three of the 16 players are seniors – and have varying levels of experience. Munion said that two of his seniors, Paula Twinam and Ashley Price, have done a good job playing as fullbacks.
“They haven’t played much recently, but they’ve come out and done a real good job,” he said.
The seniors are playing in front of goalkeepers Amanda Hackworth and Crystal Cinereski. Both players should be naturals at keeping the ball out of the net as they are also catchers for the softball team.
for me last year and this is
Minford’s offense is young, but talented. One of the key players up front is Cindy Hay, sister of last year’s SOC Player of the Year Kevin Hay.
“I’m sure they’ve knocked balls around the yard together,” Munion said of the siblings. “She’s got some learning to do, but for a young lady, she’s pretty impressive.”
Some of the girls are happy to have their own hear this year.
“(With) the boys, it feels like you’re out there to play to show them up and to prove them wrong,” Junior Megan Graf said. “But out here with the girls, we’re all equal. We just have to show our talent and we get to use more of our skills.”
Sophomore Danielle Marion said that boys generally look at girls as being “powderpuffs.” She says playing against girls evens the playing field, providing more balance.
“Basically, the guys are just ‘Don’t worry about her, she’s a girl,’” she said. “With the girls, you have more competition and you try to beat them and it’s not near as hard.”
Playing against girls also has the benefit of increased playing time for girls.
“I was a freshman when we were playing with the boys, so of course you aren’t going to get much playing time,” sophomore Stephanie Martin said. “You might get a few minutes on JV. With the girls you get a lot more playing time and you get to show your stuff.”
Though Wheelersburg fielded a team which played three games in 1985, Minford’s players see themselves as the ones who are starting girls soccer in the area.
pretty good coming in with the girls team, knowing
that we have started the first one around here,” Twinam said. “I’m a senior, so I can carry that over and
say ‘I was one of the first girls to start a girls
that we’re the pioneers,” Price said. “We
started this. We’re going to be known as
the first girls team in
The future looks promising for girls soccer at Minford. Munion says he has good classes at the middle school coming up and that numbers won’t be a problem in the years to come.
As for the present, the Lady Falcons have some work to do, but Munion sees improvement.
“We’ve got some pretty decent talent, we’ve just got to get them to where they learn how to work together and pass the ball,” he said. “It’s not going to be this year, but maybe next year after we’ll be able to compete with some of the bigger schools that have had soccer for a while. We’re doing ok right now.”
THOM CHALFAN can be reached at (740) 353-3103 Ext.424