ST. GEORGE – The Pine View High School boys’ soccer team hopes to take its talents to the next level as the team enters its third year of a rebuilding project.
The Panthers are coming off two wins last weekend, and they were preparing for their game against Maple Mountain High School, but that’s not the bigger picture for the team.
Sam Johnston, the coach for the Pine View boys’ soccer team, said he’s excited for the current group of seniors he has.
“They were athletes or other football players that we started out as sophomores,” Johnston said. “We taught them for a couple years. They learned how to play the game. This is the culmination of a couple-of-years project with them.”
Johnston said for the past two years he had senior classes that weren’t able to lead or create traditions for the team.
“They’ve taken hold of the team themselves,” he said. “That’s been refreshing knowing we’ve had groups who have been in the program for a couple of years now. We’ve been shooting from the hip it seems like.”
With this group of kids Johnston said it’s important for the team to stay consistent each time it steps on the field in order to be competitive in Region play.
“A lot of our seniors played other sports, so they know how to compete,” he said. “They know what it takes to endure through. It’s just a matter of whether our younger guys can pick it up and maintain that same level every single game.”
Johnston said the only question mark the team has is what the younger players will do. He said Pine View is going with two freshmen and two or three sophomores as starters for the varsity team.
One of Pine View’s team captains, senior defender K.J. Guard, said it’s hard to tell how the team is doing this early in the season, but he said the outlook is positive.
“We’ve been doing good so far,” Guard said. “We’ve had some good practices. We’re doing right things and hitting our stride for region. We bonded this year compared to other years. It shows with chemistry on the field.”
Region play begins Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m., for Pine View as the Panthers head over to Desert Hills High School to take on the Thunder.
Guard said he isn’t quite sure who the team to beat is in the Region, but he said Desert Hills is always good and looks forward to challenging them.
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