2019 Patriots Soccer Preview

2019 Independence Patriots Men's Soccer Team. (Ron Morris)
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The Independence High School Men’s Soccer program continues to improve and make great strides under head coach Tyler Gibson and the coaching staff. This year’s team challenge is to first find a way to defeat Porter Ridge for the 4-A Conference title and surpassing last year’s team of going deep into the state tournament beyond the quarterfinals. Also, there are other solid teams in their highly competitive conference who are poised to make a serious run for the conference championship.

We asked coach Gibson some key questions and the following was his response.

1. What has the team stressed in practices? We stress the importance of holding each other accountable on a daily basis in training. To be able to compete at a high standard we have to train with the same mentality.

2. What are your team strengths? We have a lot of overall team speed this year and a strong group of attacking players.

3. In what area do you need improvement? We need to continue working on our shape and understanding of each other’s movements on the field. We have a detailed formation that requires unity and understanding within the group.

4. How potent is your offense this season? Hopefully our team speed and ability to transition with the ball at our feet will catch teams off guard this season.

5. How would you rate your defense? Goalkeeper? We have a strong group of leaders within our defensive group.

6.What do you want the team to accomplish this year? Winning a conference championship is always a massive goal for us. But for that to happen we have to show up and compete day in and day out. The boys focus much more on their daily tasks than the end goal.

7. Where do you stack-up in the Southwestern 4-A Conference? It is a strong conference and I expect every team to have a solid group this year. Everyone is hungry to take down the reigning champs Porter Ridge. We will be right in the thick of it trying to win a conference championship.

8. What are your realistic expectations for this season? Realistically, I am going to challenge and prepare my guys to compete every single day. We set the bar high for a reason at Independence. After reaching the quarterfinals in the playoffs last year we are setting the bar high again.

The Patriots open their season in a non-conference game against Marvin Ridge on August 21st at home. Then they hit the road on August 26th to play Providence High School. Their next home game will be on August 28th when they take on North Mecklenburg. All varsity games are scheduled for a 6 pm start. Please check the Patriots season schedule on MaxPreps.com.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.