Polk soccer team clashes with E. Davidson in state tourney

Published 11:30 pm Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wolverine player this season has been Isais Akers (#17), s hown in the Oct. 19 match, in which the Wolverines topped Hendersonville, 4-3.

Wolverine player this season has been Isais Akers (#17), shown in the Oct. 19 match, in
which the Wolverines topped Hendersonville, 4-3.

Graduation can temporarily set back a sports team, but in the case of Polk County’s men’s varsity soccer squad, the Wolverines employ a strategy to keep marching on, with Polk having won another Western Highlands Conference title.

On Wednesday evening, Polk hosted East Davidson in the first round of the state playoffs. Results were not available at press time.

To capture the WHC title outright, Polk needed to defeat Madison on Oct. 28, and avoid the need for a shootout against their nearest rival, Owen.

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The Wolverines stopped Madison, 3-0, at Marshall. Having won that match, the Wolverines posted a 10-1-1 WHC record for the season. Overall, they finished at 15-4-1.

Veteran head coach Lennox Charles described this as “a good, successful season . . . we keep losing these big groups of players . . . (but) we have another group come in and we stay competitive.”

This year’s team featured only five returning starters, and eight other returning varsity players.

Charles noted that this season’s ten new players have made “a good contribution.”

Rather than bringing underclassmen to the varsity squad exclusively, most players (with some exceptions) spend two years on junior varsity, and then two years on varsity, with greater opportunity to play regularly if they stay longer on JV.

“We feel if our JV kids put their work in, they will be a little more ready. We feel that by playing a lot (on JV), it helps them develop more,” Charles added.

That formula seems to work.

Because East Davidson is so far from Polk County, Charles’s team went into Wednesday evening’s match with little knowledge of their opponents.

“Hopefully, we can keep our composure, and make adjustments,” Charles said earlier Wednesday.