I’m now counting down the hours until I get to see my first Newton Girls Soccer game of 2009 and it happens to be the season opener, which is even better.  Last year was tough, it was my first year out of coaching and I had to hear from everybody what was going on, who went out, who was practicing well, who wasn’t, if there were any younger players making a contribution.  I also had the chance to hear the other side from the coach.  I really felt like I was part of the team again.  This year I haven’t been quite as informed, but in the last couple days I think I was brought up to speed.  Really not too many big surprises, I feel like even though it’s been 2 seasons, I still have a pretty good idea where people are going to be at and how they are going to do.  There’s always some new faces, but thats to be expected.  I don’t mean this to hurt the feelings of any graduating players, but it seems like Newton just reloads every year and doesn’t have a rebuilding year.  It’s getting harder and harder to make the varsity squad or start, because everyone is so good.  I think the Newton club system is the one to thank for that.  Almost all of these kids played club soccer when they were younger, that can’t be said for the first couple teams I coached and it’s really brought the level of play up and the confidence and expectations of the players.  The first year I coached I had players write down their goals before the season and most of the goals were to get along with everyone.  After we had a good year, the next season the goals were to win half of their games.  We met that one too, and slowly the goals got higher and higher.  The players start to believe in themselves and then who knows what can happen.  My last year the goals were, winning conference, going to state, and being undefeated.  It’s really fun to see that progress into the program they have today.

Tomorrow’s game is versus Marshalltown and is also the first on the new field (I think).  I personally haven’t seen the field yet, but from the few games we played on turf in the past, it definately gives you a home field advantage… if you practice on it.  I don’t know how much work they’ve done on it, but I wish we could’ve played more on one before going to Valley.  The new coach gets a chance to make his debut, I’m real excited for him, i think he’s a great person and I think he’ll do a great job coaching, too.  Marshalltown will be a good opponent to start off the season.  They are always competitive with us.  We had a couple overtime games with them, but win or lose, they’re always close.  They also seem to have a few physical players.  It’s nice that Newton got a couple more days of practice before it’s first game and the first game isn’t against Ames.  That’s never a good way to start the season.  Marshalltown isn’t in our conference anymore, but has always been a rival of ours.

I’m starting to ramble a little, probably because it’s getting late, but Go Cards!  I’m excited to catch up with everyone and cheer them on to victory.   I’m sure I’ll lean a lot more this weekend, and I’ll have more news next time.