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The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

A promising preseason

Girls soccer prepares for upcoming season

With the season fast approaching, girls soccer is in full swing. Preseason started shortly after winter break and will end in the last week of February. Despite the low attraction towards girls soccer in previous years, the program is seeing a complete turnaround in participation.  


Wil Ross, a Hickman alumni, has been the head soccer coach for 13 years.

Wil Ross, head girls soccer coach, encourages each girl to say one positive thing about their teammates as a way to end the practice. (Alaina Kimmons)

“I grew up playing soccer from as young as I can remember. I always enjoyed playing and watching,” he said smiling. 


Ross’s passion and dedication to the sport shines through on and off the field. 


At practices, Ross is constantly participating in drills, scrimmaging in games, and is determined to create a positive environment. At school, he can be found recruiting kids he sees in the hallways, asking them to join the soccer team, and telling them how fun and rewarding it is. His process of promoting the team at school has paid off for him, as the preseason turnout is booming. 


“The preseason numbers have probably been about as good as they have ever been, at least since I’ve been head coach,” he said proudly. 


The seniors have done their part as well, talking to underclassmen in their classes or other sports and convincing them to give soccer a try. This has been especially true for the freshman class of 2027. The freshman class is about one-third of the girls at preseason, and most of them have never touched a soccer ball before. 


Prior to preseason, the last time freshman Preslea Haxel played soccer was five years ago. Preslea played rec soccer when she was younger and remembered how much she loved it, and decided she wanted to try out for the high school team. 


So far, Preslea has gone to almost every single one of the preseason practices and seems to be thriving in the environment. 


“I think getting to play is really fun. The team really challenges me and makes me better as a player,” she says smiling. 


“We’re getting a lot of freshmen girls coming in that know these upperclassmen either because they’re friends, and they see that they’re also playing soccer and the fun they have so they decided to try it out,” senior Rylee Lanham said. 


Rylee has been a four-year varsity starter and is hoping to be captain for her senior season. She expressed excitement for the season and the potential to have a winning season. 

Rylee Lanham (12) watches her teammates scrimmaging as she reminisces on the past 3 years and looks forward to her last season. (Alaina Kimmons)

“I also think that with a lot of seniors this year, we have a stronger sense of unity and leadership than we have in the past,” she said. 


 With 10 seniors expected to return, the team is determined to have a winning season. 


‘The goal is obviously to win districts,” Rylee said. 


Although Rylee’s sense of competitiveness is strong, she emphasizes the importance of having fun, while still working hard.


“Another goal is just to have a really good environment within our teams, both JV and varsity and we have good cohesiveness and energy,” Rylee said. 


With the season right around the corner, it goes without saying that the girls soccer team is prepared for the challenges and excitement coming their way.

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    Zac KuchtaFeb 28, 2024 at 10:08 am

    I like how many Freshmen are showing up to preseason, with a lot of Senior role models to lead them in the right direction during the soccer season!