By: Ray Conner
The Kern Valley girls’ soccer squad will enter the season with a new head coach.
Paul Armes took over for Tom Cormack as the one holding onto the reins of the Lady Broncs. He was an assistant last year and will now have the decision making in trying to keep up the recent success of the team.
Last season the Lady Broncs finished third in the High Desert League at 7-4-1 and overall at 9-7-1 landing a berth in the CIF playoffs.
Armes to his credit has coached club teams for seven years and has 12 years total in instructing from the sidelines. He will be assisted by Tom and Peter Cormack and there are 20 players on the team.
Four seniors include, Lexi Baker, Anne Keverline, Hannah O’ Campo, and Hayley Weeden. Joining them are the five juniors, Nina Gaudsmith, Erin Hall, Hailey Martinez, Mila Morgan, and Elexis Romero. The seven sophomores are River Sartor, Sadi Barker, Brooke Watson, Molly Watson, Brooke Jeans, Angela Lezama, and Brooke McConnell. Filling out the team are the four freshmen, Kylie Weeden, Annelyse Alten, Olivia Wagner, and Shirley Mondragon.
Of those 20 players, Armes is fortunate to have 11 returners in Sartor, Martinez, Lezama, B. and M. Watson, Hall, Keverline, Morgan, Baker, O’Campo and Gaudsmith.
Armes stated that his goal as the coach is to mold these young ladies into quality soccer players, and the rest will come with it. His goal for his players is a little bit more enthusiastic as he said it is to destroy all.
His key losses from the CIF playoff team were Abby Achorn, Abby Goulding, Arika D’Amico, Jordan Allen and Rachel Driskell.
He is excited in a couple of freshmen players that he says have the potential to score a lot of goals. In the short non-league portion of the Lady Broncs schedule, Armes will look to test his players in spots they have never played before. And also try different line ups to see which of the players will step up to help contribute.
In the HDL it looks like Rosamond and rival Bishop are the teams to beat as the have attackers that they will have to watch out for.
He sees the strength of the team in their legs. He said, “They will take us where we want to go.”
Turning the page to the areas that need work, Armes sees the need for team work. He said, “Since we have so many new players, we have to become one again.”
The Lady Broncs open their season on Thursday at home when Mojave comes to town. The match will start at 3 p.m.