PHILIPPI, W.Va.- The goal is simple for the Philip Barbour boys soccer team during preseason, get better.
Five year head coach Will Gregory said those two words when asked what the team hopes to accomplish before the season officially starts.
Last season was more of a rebuilding year for the Colts and Gregory expects that to translate to a stronger team this year.
“Last year was kind of a retooling with a lot of our young guys. We had some freshmen come in and we didn’t have a lot of depth so those guys had to play a lot and it helped them not as much last year but we’ve already seen them develop so much better this year,” Will Gregory said.
The Colts are led by a talented senior class. Many of these players have been on the varsity roster since freshman year. The most important part of last season was the younger players learning from the more experienced ones.
“They did a great job last year taking those young guys under their wings. They knew we were going into a lot of gun fights with knives, so to speak, but they played really hard they got better and they set the tone for everything that we do,” Will Gregory said.
One of those leaders returns for his final season in first team All-State midfielder Ethan Gregory. Gregory controls the game for the Colts in the midfield and knows what he and his team needs to be successful.
“To improve, we definitely need hard work, a good mindset, we need to have some good motivation and hopefully just play the way we want to play which is pass the ball, move it and create through possession. That’s the plan,” Ethan Gregory said.
Ethan isn’t the only player returning with experience. Senior Cody Cooper is back between the pipes along with fellow seniors Trenton Whited, Alex Williams and Grant Dadisman. The name of the game for these players is chemisty.
“We’ve played together for a while and I feel like we just know where to pass the ball and we’re always aware. I feel like we’re going to have a good team and a good shot this year,” Dadisman said.
The Colts hope to put the pieces together this year by putting what they’ve been building to the test. That involves the younger players and more experienced players combining to get it done on the field in order to win games.
The Colts host Weir in the first game of the season on August 24.