PRC soccer looking to stay healthy for late season push

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Lady Blue Devils soccer team is halfway through their season, but still in the hunt for a postseason shot.

Pearl River Central is currently 0-2 in district, so the Lady Blue Devils will have to win the majority of their remaining games to fight for one of the two playoff spots.

Four of the team’s last seven games will be against district opponents and the team will hopefully be back at full strength for the later games.

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PRC has been plagued by injuries all season.

Head Coach Joe Weems said he was happy with the squad’s performances given how short handed the Lady Blue Devils were.

“The girls, we thought, overachieved. They were in a lot of ball games considering the ton of injuries and people we were missing,” Weems said.

The team’s performances haven’t necessarily translated into wins, but the progress being made on the field has been obvious for Weems.

Each player is becoming more comfortable in their role and has a better understanding of how to mesh with their teammates on the field.

The athletes have displayed their mental toughness and togetherness as they’ve battled through the season’s adversity.

“The improvement with them is they’ve kept the right attitude and pushed forward. They’re still hanging in there, they haven’t crumbled,” Weems said.

Heading into 2020, Weems said he wants to see more leadership from his players both in games and during practice.

The squad is young, but Weems said age doesn’t determine who can be a leader.

Weems said he’s hoping to see more out of his players when it comes to taking charge on the field.

“I’ll take any leaders, I don’t care if they’re in 9th grade and we do have a couple younger kids who are taking the reins sometimes. We are a young the team that is trying to find itself,” Weems said.

In order to stay in the playoff hunt, the team will essentially need to win out.

The only slip up the team can afford is against Long Beach.

If the Lady Blue Devils are able to defeat every district foe, then their playoff spot would almost be guaranteed.

Who is available for Weems to play may end up affecting how the matches go, so the main priority for Weems as the team makes a late playoff push is to keep the injuries to a minimum.

“I want to stay healthy, that’s been our one problem with the girls. We’re looking at four games in district and it’s all going to happen so fast,” Weems said.

The first test will be an away game at Hattiesburg on Jan. 10.

Weems said the team is talented enough to defeat the Tigers, so it’ll come down to the athletes performing up to the standards they have for themselves. “The number one thing is to just play up to our potential. We know what they can do,” Weems said. The match will begin at 5:30 p.m.