Bobcat teams shoot for soccer state glory

Friday, May 13, 2011
Alex Orellana is one of the Berryville players who the Bobcats expect to have a big impact at the state tournament which starts Friday in Jonesboro. David Healy / CCN

After 33 years of coaching football, Doug Scheel began coaching girls soccer for the first time this season.

At the beginning of the year there were some trying times for the coach and the players.

Scheel, who is also the athletic director of Berryville High School, learned that there is a lot more to the game of soccer than meets the eye.

But as the weeks advanced the coach and players gradually grew together. They became a cohesive team that always played hard. They did so well that they finished the regular season with a winning record of 6-4.

Scheel and the rest of the Lady Bobcats aren't finished quite yet, however. Starting on Friday, they hope to make a run in the 4A state soccer tournament at Valley View High School in Jonesboro.

Berryville opens the tournament against Episcopal Collegiate at noon. The girls will load up on the bus Friday morning and leave Berryville at 6 a.m. for the four-plus hour trip.

If the Lady Bobcats win their first game, they will spend the night in Jonesboro for their second round opponent on Saturday.

Like a good football coach, Scheel built his soccer team on a strong defense. Led by junior Kayla McCullough and goalie Jody King, Berryville has allowed few teams to score goals against them.

"We also have great speed on offense, and we have a very good goal scorer in Amanda Lindberg," Scheel said.

Meanwhile, the Berryville boys soccer team also is hoping to advance deep into the state tournament.

The Berryville boys, the top seed in their bracket, begin their quest for a state championship Friday at noon against Malvern.

The Bobcats finished the season undefeated in conference play, and Coach Don Earnest says his team won't try and change many things at the tournament. "We will have to play fast and put lots of pressure on them," Earnest said. "With the fields being bigger we should be able to spread the field even more then normal and play fast like we want to."

Under Earnest, the Bobcats made it to the state championship game in 2007.

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