Lady Vikes learn under new coach

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

Warren Central has found its need for speed.

First-year coach Trey Banks wanted his entire roster to run an eight-minute mile before the season, a milestone that shows the amount of conditioning work that the Lady Vikes have done in the off-season.

Mission accomplished.

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Now the Lady Vikes are looking to do something they haven’t done a couple of years and that’s make the playoffs. In a tough region with Clinton and archrival Vicksburg, the Lady Vikes haven’t been able to push their way into the top two.

They’ve led or been tied in matches with both powers, but haven’t been able to do something that Banks wants his charges to do.

“I’ve seen these girls play against a Clinton, against a Vicksburg. They’ve been competitive,” Banks said. “But’s a question of can we finish them? In the past, we’d have a lead on Vicksburg and they’d come back and score. Can we finish these games and win the district? That’s the goal. It’s just going to take work.”

Banks made changes at his two more important positions. The Lady Vikes’ lone senior, Chelsea Duett, who has played on the back line as their top defender, was moved up to striker where she’ll be expected to spark the offense despite off-season knee surgery in July. She was dilligent in her rehab and ran her mile without issues.

“She hasn’t been back too long, but she’s really tried to step up into that leadership position,” Banks said. “She’s had to work a little harder, but she’s pushed it.”

The other big change is in goal, as Katie Humphries returns to her natural position in club soccer as WC’s new goaltender. While she’s moving from the midfield to the goalbox, Banks believes that she can make a big impact as the team’s last line of defense.

“She’s solid, she knows the position,” Banks said. “I look for her to help our defense. I look for her to save us in a few games. She’s really going to help us.”

Manning the backline will be Hannah Miller and a pair of freshman, Caitlyn Graham and Kelsey McMaster.

Mallory Reynolds and Lindsey Barfield return at the midfield. Reynolds took on the captain’s armband last season when Duett was hurt, while Barfield has been fixture at WC’s midfield since seventh grade.

“She’s a born leader,” Banks said of Reynolds. “She’s stepping it up this year and a lot of the younger girls look up to her.”