As the 2019 season is in the early stages for the Maryville boys soccer team, the past few seasons, coupled with the start the Spoofhounds have had, has set the stage for this year’s expectations.
After graduating many of their previous starting players in May and suffering multiple injuries to start the season, the Spoofhounds look to underclassmen and inexperienced players to help them turn this rebuilding year into the foundation for seasons to come.
“I think it started off as one of those years that we could probably rebuild on,” coach Dale Reuter said. “Right now, we have a lot of things out of our control. We’re just going to have to rebuild, and we’re just going to have to focus every day on getting better.”
The ‘Hounds have compiled a 3-3 record through six games thus far this season. And with stand-out players like senior Jaden Hayes, sophomore Tegan Haer and freshman Quinn Pettlon leading the charge for the ‘Hounds, some light has been shed on possible building blocks for the program.
Many of the underclassmen have not personally experienced the constant years of successful district and sub-state runs, but are now the ones being asked to buy-in to the program to return it to its high distinction.
“This year, I feel like we have a lot more teamwork,” sophomore midfielder Jacob Ferris said. “I feel like we’re able to talk a lot better, and we can explain to each other what needs to be worked on.”
Only six games into the season, the ‘Hounds have already had players like Jaden Hayes breaking school and state records and Pettlon in the backfield holding the line. With 14 out of the 22 players on roster being underclassmen, a few of which are starters, many are looking to the future and how these underclassmen will build the program after taking leadership positions.
Though many are questioning the future leaders of the team and the results of the program separately, Reuter is moreover concerned with how the players will impact the program and continue to come back and build a stronger group year after year.
“My worry about them is, ‘How do I get these guys to get up every morning and buy into the program and stay fighting and stay positive?’” Reuter said. “I'm not worried about now. They're going to grow. If they do that, then they're going to grow. If they do that, those players are going to step up and be the leaders.”
As specific formations and starting lineups are slowly being set in stone, the focus then switches to future matchups this season. Despite future tournaments against traditionally successful teams like Excelsior Springs and Kearney, Reuter’s focus for the team is on bettering themselves.
“We got to keep it simple,” Reuter said. “I'm not really worried about the opponent; I’m worried about us. Right now, everything else is on the back burner. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but it’s not in my immediate future of what we’re going to think about.”
Comparing this year’s lineup and possible success to years past highlights just how vast the differences are between the personnel, work ethic and push for success. The key to success for the ‘Hounds this year is to keep battling, along with using this season to lay a foundation of teamwork for years to come.
“From the last year, some of the players that were here, we thought it was easy,” Ferris said. “All of the games we won quite easily. This year it's a lot more difficult. We just need people to step up on the team.”