BELLE GLADE – The Glades Day Lady Gators started the soccer schedule this week and has high hopes they can be a district champion this year.
Coach Angee Lohman enters her 12th year as coach. She had 32 girls on the roster this year. They will play mostly a varsity schedule but some of the girls will have junior varsity and middle school matches as well. The team includes players from the sixth through the 12th grade.
Her oldest daughter, Brianna, who recently graduated from Dartmouth, is helping her with the team this year. It has been a family affair for many years as Lohman has had a daughter and a niece on the team almost every year she has coached. Her oldest daughter played softball at Dartmouth and intends to enter law school. Her son Rett is the place kicker on the Gator football team. Her youngest daughter, Hannah, is on the team this year, and is in sixth grade.
Lohman grew up in Pahokee and attended Glades Day school. She said the roster is larger this year and she likes the girls attitude and energy.
“All the girls really like this sport and are willing to learn. I’m willing to work with them,” she noted.
The Gators’ district opponents this year are Jupiter Christian, Berean Christian, Trinity Christian, Somerset Academy, Atlantic Christian and Lake Worth Christian. Lake Worth has won the district championship for the past two years. Glades Day is in district 1A-11.
“Our goal is to do better than ever before. All of the teams are pretty strong,” Lohman noted.
Lohman said some of the girls played volleyball and just started to condition for soccer. With all the running soccer players do, you have to be in outstanding shape to compete.
Key players for the Gators this year include Jailyn Smith and Jade Echols. Smith is the goal keeper and Echols plays mid field and striker.
“My message is to work hard and get better every day. If you work hard when things are hard you will get better. I also want them to work together as a team, learn character, and to have a positive experience.”
Lohman has not named a team captain. Instead she will wait for two weeks and then let the girls vote on who has shown the most leadership skills. “This is a great group of girls. They have a love for the game and that should make things enjoyable,” she added.
Key games for the Gators include a match at Pahokee on Nov. 14, at Lake Worth Christian Nov. 29, a home match with Pahokee on Dec. 2, Lake Worth Christian at home on Dec. 8, and Jupiter Christian at home on Dec. 9.