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franklin county times

Lady Raiders open season on Friday

By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
August 12, 2004
After coming up one win short of a state championship last season, the Lamar School girls soccer team is looking for another run in the postseason.
The Lady Raiders will try to use speed and great conditioning to make the playoffs for their fifth consecutive season.
"We're looking fit," said first-year coach Mary McGraw. "We're in shape. We have a lot of skill on our team and we have a lot of speed."
Last year's success has helped fuel the Lady Raiders during the preseason practices.
"They have a want to win," said McGraw. "They have high goals and expectations and they should. Regardless of what league they play in, they should give teams a run for their money."
The Lady Raiders lost just four seniors off last year's team and should have experienced players on this field this season.
"For the most part we have returning players," said McGraw. "I think they lost a few last year. I wasn't here so I'm not sure, but I'm looking to the future and not in the past. As far as I'm concerned they have skill and have great touch on the ball."
Lamar will also rely on good depth this season. The Lady Raiders will work a lot of different players in a lot of different positions.
"I don't want to single out any key players because I think every player on the team is a key to the success of the team," said McGraw. "A lot of these people could play anywhere on the field depending on who we are playing against."
The Lady Raiders are still working out who will be in their starting lineup and who will play at each position.
"As of right now we're still competing for positions," said McGraw. "We're going into this tournament this weekend and since this tournament is not part of our league play we can determine who will be our back, our middle and our forwards. I have a lot to choose from at each position."
The Lady Raiders will get underway this weekend with four games in a preseason tournament in Collierville, Tenn. The competition should help prepare Lamar for the season.
"It's going to be pretty stiff competition," McGraw said of the tournament. "It's definitely going to be an eye-opener. It will definitely get us ready for the season."
According to McGraw, Lamar should be solid in each aspect of the game.
"We have a strong defense," said McGraw. "I'm very confident in my midfield. I have a lot of composed players who distribute the ball well. We should also be able to put the ball away with no hesitation up front. Our strength at forward is coming from some unexpected people. Some of our smaller players have a really strong foot and will be able to put it away."
Lamar will start the regular season on Aug. 17 with a trip to take on Starkville Academy.
The Lady Raiders will be competing with Copiah Academy, Madison Ridgeland Academy, Presbyterian Christian, Laurel Christian, Brookhaven Academy, Central Hinds Academy and Jackson Prep in conference play.

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