Boys’ soccer prepares for challenges
The classic advice from literature, specifically William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” is to beware the ides of March. As the Washington boys’ soccer team is far from a potential dictator of the now-defunct Roman Empire, it is not March that they have to look out for, but other potential perils that come in the month of April.
Steven Caulk is entering his second year as head coach of the Demons and he has elaborated on the challenges the program has faced.
“The soccer program here is sort of an uphill battle right now. We are trying to recover from some years of really struggling. We’re trying to turn it around. There is somewhat of a struggle to have enough available athletes and then we’ve had eligibility issues on top of that. Both of those things have combined to make it a struggle,” Caulk said.
Despite the struggles, talent and effort are starting to come together for Washington.
“We have some experience this year. Mason Quigley comes back as a senior. He works hard and is great for the program. We have some other guys who are working to get eligible. The strength of this team is that our guys are really willing to work hard. We have placed a lot of emphasis on conditioning. The vast majority of these guys have responded well. We think that’s led to some improvement that you can see on the field,” Caulk stated.
As far as who will play what role, a lot of that is still up in the air for the team.
“We’re still trying to figure our spots out as we go. Nothing is set in stone. We are going to align ourselves as the guys play best together,” Caulk said.
Those alignments will have to come to fruition for the Demons by Thursday, April 3. That is the date of Washington’s first match, at home against Columbus Community. An away game at Mediapolis comes before three home matches, versus Mid-Prairie on April 15, Fairfield/Maharishi on April 17 and Keokuk on April 22.
The Demons then travel to Fort Madison before hosting Mt. Pleasant on April 28 and Fairfield/Maharishi on May 2. Away dates at Keokuk and Mid-Prairie precede the last home match of the season on May 12 against Fort Madison.
Washington will then play three more road matches before district competition begins on May 27.
“We have some great teams in our conference. Fairfield and Maharishi combined their programs for this season. Mt. Pleasant is coming off a conference championship. Mediapolis and Solon are new to us in the regular season this year. They are both really quality programs,” Caulk explained.
Regardless of what struggles the Demons may face this season, the coaches and players will meet them with their best efforts and hopefully meet a better fate than Caesar did in Shakespeare’s prose.