MICHEAL COMPTON, The Daily News
August 13, 2010
It’s the beginning of a new era for the Warren East soccer teams. Not only will both teams enjoy a new district, but both will welcome the realignment with new coaches.
Darren Waldo moves to the girls’ sidelines after one year as boys’ head coach, while Chad Folk will take over the boys’ program.Both coaches enter the season with high expectations, eager to make a splash in 2010.
The Lady Raiders return several key players from last year’s team, which finished 5-9-1 but stumbled to a 1-6 district record.
Still, Waldo has been encouraged with what he has seen in the preseason.“We’re building in the right direction this season,” Waldo said. “As of right now we have just under 20 high school girls on the roster and to see that at Warren East is a great thing.”Warren East loses four-year starter Mailey Young, but returns senior Jessica Morales – who tied for the team lead with six goals – and senior keeper Cally Vincent. Waldo said he also expects big things from senior Brooke Grimes and junior Sumi Jagat.
Waldo added he is hopeful that experience will be a bigger factor in a new district that will see the Lady Raiders battling Greenwood, Barren County, Glasgow, Grayson County, Hart County and Monroe County.
“The redistricting will be key for us this season,” Waldo said. “We’re looking at a serious battle with Greenwood, Barren County and Glasgow to see who will make the regional tournament. We’ve tried to balance our schedule out with some teams outside of the region that will push us and hopefully we’ll see the benefit of playing Fort Campbell, Webster County, Hopkins County Central and some of those teams from out west when we hit October.”
The Raiders also will be part of a new district – with the same alignment as the Lady Raiders.
After an 8-11-1 season last year, which ended with a close loss to Warren Central in the postseason, Folk is hopeful Warren East can continue to improve.
“There is a lot of untapped talent,” Folk said. “We definitely have the opportunity to key into that. Our expectations are to show up for every game and be a presence – a team not necessarily to fear, but one that other teams respect.”
The Raiders will feature a mix of six seniors and a group of underclassmen that Folk believes will have a hand in the team’s fortunes in 2010.
Senior captain Wes Bratcher is expected to lead the way, with senior Zach Preston expected to be a force in the back and senior Alex Richey manning the middle.Folk said he has also been encouraged by junior keeper Diego Ortiz, adding the pieces are in place for the Raiders to make some noise in 2010.
“We want to have a positive season – more wins than losses – and increase our record from last year,” Folk said. “There are a lot of opportunities there with the new district. I think we have the personnel to do it.”