Based on league competition, Trigg’s future could be bright. The school’s 2nd Region foes would be wise to take note that TCMS will face some of the most established 1st Region programs – Marshall County, Calloway County, Murray, Mayfield and Graves County.
Although the season is only one month long (it began last Monday and ends with a tournament at Calloway the week of March 22), both Trigg coaches – Josh Nichols for the boys and Sal Lara for the girls – feel this is an important step toward making TCHS stronger in the sport.
“There’s a big gap between when they play recreational league and when they play junior varsity in high school,” said Nichols, who also serves as Trigg’s high school coach. “We lose them to other sports, disinterest and other things. This way, we can keep the playing. This time of year is beneficial for us because we get some guys from other sports who are maybe looking to do something else or might find out that this is something they enjoy doing. I think it will help us a lot as far as getting kids ready for the JV team.”
Lara echoed Nichols’ thoughts.
“The exposure is important,” said Lara, who has coached in recent years at Christian County, Hopkinsville and University Heights and is a candidate for Trigg’s vacant high school girls head coach position. “If we get beat, we get beat. You give and you get, but you learn from it.”
Both coaches said they’d rather play in a district with top teams.
“It’s a big step up in competition,” Nichols said. “It gives the kids an opportunity to play against kids they haven’t played against. Even playing in Hopkinsville, they know those kids. What I’ve found is, kids at this age don’t know that they shouldn’t be playing against Marshall County. That’s a nice naivete to have.”
“You don’t want to play at a level that’s lower than you or at your level,” Lara said. “There’s not much challenge there. At this level, we might take some losses, but we’ll know what we need to work harder on and get better so we can give them a better game next time.”
Nichols said he’ll focus on some of the rudimentary areas of the game and stress the importance of team building.
“The more they play together, the more familiar they get and the better off they are,” Nichols said. “We’re certainly not changing them that much over a month, but I’ve seen them improve just in the time I’ve had them. I told them at the beginning that over these six weeks, they’d improve as much as any team in the league.”
Lara said he’ll work to improve the Lady Midcats’ fundamentals and prepare them the best he can for the junior varsity season in August.
“We’ll work on moving in space, passing and learning some of the rules,” Lara said. “It’s a very short time, but it’s a start. I’ll look to see what is the biggest problem we have and base practice off of that. Hopefully, that will push them to the next level.”
Getting on the field in game situations is perhaps the most important aspect of the middle school season, but both Trigg coaches said their teams will play hard and try to win as many matches as possible.
“It’s about experience, but at the same time, you want to win once you get out here,” Nichols said. “We’re not coming out just to play. We want to make a good showing of ourselves. We want people to recognize that Trigg County is a good program, and hopefully we can do that.”
“You don’t want to be at the bottom,” Lara said. “If we’re in the middle, we’ll work harder to move up.”
Trigg opened the season last Tuesday at home against Marshall, with the girls losing 8-0 and the boys tying 1-1. Brien Dossett scored Trigg’s goal on an assist by Clark Adams.
Saturday, Trigg swept matches at Carlisle County. The girls won 6-0 and were led by Jordan Woodall with three goals. Hannah Futrell scored two, and Alex Carr added one. Goalkeepers Meaghan Green and Natalie Krane each had two saves. In the boys game, Trigg won 5-0 thanks to two goals by Dossett, tallies by Devonie Cunnningham and Dillon Wade, two assists by Adams and the first shutout of the season by goalkeeper Luke McKenzie.
Both Trigg teams were shut out Monday at Calloway County – 8-0 in the girls game and 2-0 in the boys contest.
Trigg was set to host Murray on Thursday, but the games have been rescheduled to March 19. TCMS returns to action Tuesday at the Trigg County Recreation Complex against Mayfield. Trigg is also set to play Thursday, March 18 at Graves County.