Seniors Provide Special Leadership For OFA Girls
BY DAVE SHEA
The 2020 Northern Conference Soccer season is presenting huge challenges to teams, coaches and players alike. COVID-19 has changed the shape of the landscape which will include regular season games only and also the landscape of education with both in-school and on-line instruction.
OFA Girls Soccer Coaches Julie Hynes and Doug Loffler are sharing the responsibilities created by the circumstances and both have been extremely pleased with the way their seniors have stepped up as true team leaders.
The Blue Devils will open the season on Friday in Malone and hold their Senior Game in the first home game on Oct. 13.
"There are so many additional things which have to be done just to have the season and there are so many things we have to do as teachers. I would not been able to coach if Doug (Loffler) didn't step forward as my co-coach. He is really good in the tactics of the game and is constantly researching things that can help us," said Coach Hynes.
"We are working together very well and the girls have been great work with. And I can't say enough about the seniors. They have been great in practice, encouraging the younger players to work hard and making sure everyone is wearing their mask. Wearing the mask while playing is tough but we are doing it. Saige Estes, Emily Farrand, Paige LaRock, Jillian LeBel, Paige Mertz, Gabrielle Morley, Sadie O'Neil, Jordyn Prosser, Rachel Ramie and Emily Joe Sovie all deserve a lot of credit."
Coach Hynes also feels that the experience of the seniors will be a key factor as the Devils look to make competitive strides in the ultra strong NAC Central Division. Emily Farrand and Gabrielle Morley are first year soccer players who played key roles in OFA's Volleyball Championship season last fall.
Volleyball, Football and Competitive Cheerleading are classified as high risk sports and will be played in the Fall season which will begin on March 1.
"We are very young team last year but this year we are more of a mature team. We are picking things up in practice quicker and I think we will be improved in running our offense plays and working together on defense," said Coach Hynes.
"We are excited about the season. The girls are so excited to be playing and they are working hard every day to get better."
2020 OFA LADY BLUE DEVILS
Julie Bateman (Jr) halfback, Emma Chapman (Jr) goaltender, halfback, Saige Estes (Sr) striker, halfback, Emily Farrand (Sr) halfback, Brinley Frederick (Jr) halfback, Caitlin Kelly (Jr) halfback, Emma Lalone (Jr) defense, Paige LaRock (Sr) defense, Jillian LeBel (Sr) halfback, Paige Merz (Sr) halfback-goalie, Gabrielle Morley (Sr) striker- halfback, Sadie O'Neil (Sr) halfback, Cadence Payne (Jr) halfback, Paige Pinkerton (Jr) halfback, Jordyn Prosser (Sr) striker, Rachel Ramie (Sr) striker-halfback, Azlyn Richardson (Fr ) defense, Katherine Smith (Jr) defense, Emily Jo Sovie (Sr) goalie-striker), Kassidie Wells (Jr) halfback