Aug. 21, 2008
By Mal Boright
“We have been emphasizing cardiovascular (conditioning), so some of the kids are a bit sore,” said Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer coach Brad Parker during a Monday night telephone call.
Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Candidates for the Champlain Valley Union High School varsity girls soccer team practice during a scrimmage last Wednesday evening.
Parker has been working with 43 candidates at the varsity level. There are another 40 freshman and junior varsity aspirants.
“We have big numbers this year and that includes a lot of freshmen,” said the veteran coach.
The schedule opens Tuesday, Sept. 2 at Rice Memorial High. The first home game is scheduled for Sept. 4, when South Burlington blows into the Redhawks’ nest.
Parker has to replace 13 players, 12 of those lost by graduation.
Thus far, Parker has reason for optimism.
The coach got his first look at his 2008 edition under game conditions last weekend in a four-way scrimmage at Essex against the Essex High Hornets, Hartford High and Rutland High.
“We did pretty well,” said Parker.
CVU won one and tied two in the shortened scrimmage games.
“It was also nice to get on a dry field,” he added.
The rain and thunderstorms of the past week and a half have made “squish” a common noise on the soaked practice fields.
“Last week we had one session in the gym,” Parker said.
Impending thunderstorms forced all practice teams indoors.
The coach is hoping to line up another scrimmage before the season opener, which follows Labor Day weekend. The Redhawks in recent years have participated in a pre-season jamboree in New Hampshire, but it has been cancelled.
Parker was hoping to have his final varsity roster set by the end of this week, adding that he wanted to give the kids plenty of time to try out.