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Winning Bayside Conf. title goal for Decatur

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Aug 31, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Stephen Decatur senior defender Ryan Duncan possesses the ball during Monday’s scrimmage against Worcester Prep in Berlin. Coach Jamie Greenwood will look to his captains, Duncan, and center midfielders, senior John Ford and junior Kevin Beck to lead the squad.

(Sept. 1, 2017) Stephen Decatur boys’ soccer team Coach Jamie Greenwood knew he would graduate 14 seniors – eight of them starters – at the end of the 2016 season, so he made sure to give underclassmen time on the field to gain some varsity game experience.

“Our strength is in our ability to adapt, I think,” Greenwood said. “These kids are teachable. They are willing to listen and learn.”

His 21-player roster consists of seven seniors, 11 juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. Eight are varsity veterans and competed last year, when Decatur went 11-2-2. The Seahawks’ season ended with a 1-0 loss to Chesapeake in the 3A East Region Section II finals.

“We’re young. Only eight out of 21 are returners,” Greenwood said. “We’re going to struggle with our varsity game experience a bit. The pace of varsity play is much faster than the pace of JV play.”

Greenwood will depend on his most seasoned players to guide the group this year, including captains, center midfielders, senior John Ford and junior Kevin Beck, and senior center back, Ryan Duncan.

“John Ford we’ll probably lean on the most because he has the most experience,” Greenwood said.

“It’s a younger team this year so I kind of have to take on a leadership role, be a leader on the field, keep everybody in check and make sure everything goes well,” said Ford, who is also the Decatur football team’s kicker. “I want to score lots of goals and help out the defense too.

“We’re progressing a lot since tryouts, but we still have a long way to go before the season starts,” the three-year varsity player continued. “We look 10 times better than we did at the beginning of preseason.”

Ford (2016 Bayside South Conference First Team) will play in the center midfield with Beck (Bayside Honorable Mention).

“We’ve been playing for three years together now and we have good chemistry. Me and John will control the pace through the center midfield,” said Beck, a three-year varsity player. “I hope to show [the new players] how to play at the varsity level. I’m really excited with the team we have.”

Duncan, a three-year player, will control the Decatur defense.

“I’m just going to try to make sure the other defenders are doing their job, we’re covering men and try to keep [opponents] from scoring, help the midfielders out if they need an outlet pass and just make sure everyone on our team is in position,” he said. “We’re looking really good. We’re getting in shape, our touches are getting better and we’re playing like more of a unit now.”

Greenwood will rely on several newcomers to contribute, including sophomore midfielder Brian Rodriguez and freshman defender Evan Kinsey.

“So far we’re doing well. We’re improving. We’ve had six scrimmages and every time we’ve grown,” Greenwood said. The newcomers have really come in and played well. They’re filling in the gaps well. There’s going to be a lot of newcomers on the field.”

After losing in a shootout to Kent Island in the Bayside Conference championship game last year, the boys want redemption this season.

“I think it’s reachable. I think we need to stay on track and stay focused,” Beck said.

“I’m trying to go out with a bang this year, get a lot of wins, maybe win a Bayside championship. That’s been a goal of mine,” Duncan added.

Ford would also like to win a Bayside title before he graduates.

This is Greenwood’s 23rd season with the soccer program, 11th as varsity head coach. In 2016, he was named Coach of the Year for the fourth time.

Greenwood has 89 career wins. He would like to get to the 100-win mark this year, be Bayside champs and go far in playoffs.

“That would be a nice little bonus for this year,” he said.

“We really want to make him proud,” Beck said. “Eleven wins will get him to 100. That’s another goal we have along with the Bayside championship.”

Sept. 5: Easton, 5:30 (H)

Sept. 8: Crisfield, 4 p.m. (A)

Sept 12: Washington, 5:30 p.m. (H)

Sept. 14: Snow Hill, 5:30 p.m. (A)

Sept. 19: North Caroline, 5:30 p.m. (A)

Sept. 21: Parkside, 5:30 p.m. (H)

Sept. 26: Wicomico, 4 p.m. (A)

Oct. 3: Kent Island, 5:30 p.m. (H)

Oct. 6: Pocomoke, 7 p.m. (A)

Oct. 10: Mardela, 5:30 p.m. (H)

Oct. 12: Queen Anne’s, 5:30 p.m. (A)

Oct. 17: James M. Bennett, 5:30 p.m. (H)

 

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