“From minute one of the season I’m really impressed”
by Than Acuff
It’s been talked about for close to 10 years, gained some momentum the past five years and on Monday, February 29 Titans girls’ high school soccer at the Crested Butte Community School became a reality with players from both the CBCS and Gunnison High School participating.
Before the season started, coach Julia Kidd had no idea what to expect. She hoped to have at least enough players to field a team and wondered if the girls that did sign up had any experience or knowledge of the game. What she found on opening day completely surprised her.
“We have 24 girls, which is 10 more than I expected. I’m pretty shocked,” says Kidd. “We have a large freshmen group that never quit playing soccer, some older kids that are figuring out how to play again and how to play together and a few never-evers coming out for the first time. I can field 11 pretty experienced players pretty easily.”
Fortunately, those that lack soccer experience more than make up for it in athleticism and natural ability.
“They play other sports so they really understand angles and movement and I think they’ll pick it up quickly,” says Kidd.
Kidd has assistant coach Alexis Charles working with her. Charles plays for the WSCU women’s club team adding collegiate experience to the new program.
“I love the knowledge that she brings,” says Kidd.
She also has senior Nate Hoskin, who played four years for the Titan boys team, helping out as a manager with the ability to coach some of the finer points on technique when needed.
As is always the case with spring sports, workouts are confined to the gym during the preseason so Kidd uses the time to focus on developing the wide range of abilities she has on the floor.
“The focus has been on the basics, movement off the ball, passing; it’s been a little tricky,” says Kidd. “One nice thing about the gym is the speed of play and they’ve done amazingly.”
With so many sports vying for gym space, the girls have workouts four afternoons and one morning each week. Starting this week they will head down to WSCU one afternoon a week to get time in their field house and Kidd hopes to get them out on the grass by April 1, weather depending.
“Dom Eymere is working on clearing off the field in CB South but it’s going to be a battle for sure,” says Kidd.
The Titans put the past two weeks of workouts to the test on Tuesday, March 8 when they headed to Center for a preseason scrimmage. Again, Kidd was surprised by how much they already know about the game and how well they can play.
“The natural ability and movement they have was impressive and exciting,” says Kidd. “I also saw plenty of things we need to work on.”
The Titans have 11 games on their schedule and will compete as a JV team this season but will join the league officially as a varsity program next year. They will head to Montrose on Friday, March 11 for games against Montrose and will spend the first half of the season on the road before hosting games in Gunnison starting the third week in April.
With 24 girls on the team and 11 games scheduled their first year, the future looks bright for Titan girls soccer.
“Having 24 players sets us up for having a JV and varsity next year,” says Kidd. “From minute one of the season I’m really impressed. It’s been super fun and they’re all great kids.”