Poplarville soccer getting ready for scrimmages

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 26, 2019


The Lady Hornets soccer team has been preparing since the start of the school year for the first competitive action of the season.

Over the weekend Poplarville will play two scrimmages, which Head Coach Beth McShea is planning on using to get some of her newer players some game day experience.

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The squad will take on Florence, who won south state last season, and Petal in two 30 minute scrimmages.

After school practices started Oct. 14, and the team has the last school block of the day together as well.

This change has led to practices being a little longer, if not a little less intense conditioning wise.

McShea instead has had her players focus on game speed drills and intra-squad scrimmages.

“With the start of season being so close, I think the girls have been really motivated to push through fatigue, which has really helped with being more in game shape,” McShea said.

The squad lost a lot of players to graduation, including most of the defense.

These early games will help younger players gain some experience, while also allowing McShea to see what does and doesn’t work for her team.

“We graduated so many and have also had a few players get injured, so my subs are very new to the speed of play in varsity games. I want them to get as much experience as we can before moving into district,” McShea said.

The youthful athletes will need to step up if the squad wants to challenge for a district championship.

While the scrimmages won’t go on the team’s actual record for the season, the games still give the team its first taste of competitive action after months of just scrimmaging each other.

McShea said the scrimmages are beneficial for a variety of reasons, but the main one will be handling the beginning-of-season jitters some of the players experience. 

“It gives them the first opportunity of the season to play all together instead of scrimmaging each other. It is also a less stressful environment than games that go towards your overall record,” McShea said.

The athletes filling in the holes along the backline have the talent to step up, and McShea said her players have improved their ball control and scoring skills.

Those were two aspects McShea had her players focus on in practice as the season approached.

Now the team will see how it matches up against some good competition.

Following the two scrimmages, Poplarville’s first true competitive game will be Nov. 2 in Laurel, Miss.