CRESTVIEW — Coming off a 10-6-2 season, expectations are high for the Crestview girls soccer team.
Second-year coach Carl Everitt isn’t discouraging talk of what could be a banner year for his team.
“I’m hoping we have a better season than last year — and we had a great season last year,” he said. “We’ve been together now since July 17th of last year and we haven’t stopped. We put a little team together and, as you can see, they’ve come a long way.
“They are knocking the ball with their feet and they are playing the game properly and they like each other.”
If Tuesday’s 7-0 win over Rocky Bayou Christian is any indication of the season’s outcome, the Bulldogs should be in good shape.
Crestview had two goals each from Ashley Richbourg and Tia Schindler. Nichole Lefevre, Heather Daron and Allison Ammons each scored a goal.
The Bulldogs only had three seniors on last year’s team, one of which was a starter. Despite minimal losses from graduation, Everitt still had to adjust the lineup to get the right players in position.
While last year’s senior class was small, whatever success the Bulldogs have this year will fall on the squad’s seniors.
“The problem we’ve got is we’ve got nine seniors so we’ve got to do something really good this year because we don’t know what could happen next year,” Everitt said. “We’ve got nine strong seniors and we are going to do OK this year.
“They know (that) this year, they have to do something because once we lose nine seniors, it’s going to be difficult for us next year to do something. They are very hungry, and they know they have to do something this year — and for some of them, this is their only chance.”
The eight-team District 1-4A in girls soccer is always tough. Joining Crestview in the district are Fort Walton Beach, Escambia, Tate, Navarre, Niceville, Pine Forest and Pace.
“I don’t expect to win district,” Everitt said. “I think we finished fourth last year and I think we can finish third this year.
“Niceville is always good. Pace, I’m not sure what they are going to be like this year. There are a lot of variables, and it’s just who shows up on what night. “We are trying to build a (soccer) culture up here.”
Seventeen months into his tenure coaching the Crestview girls, Everitt continues to see team improvement that could pay dividends by year’s end.
“We’ve had 17 months of going to tournaments and getting that exposure and playing against different players,” Everitt said. “We are hitting gaps and hitting spaces and they are playing the way they should be from the corners as well.
“We hit the ball and we’ve got set plays. We are a little more sophisticated than we were last year so.”