By Rob Tetro
The Phoenix girls’ varsity soccer team is losing only one senior now that this season has ended.
Phoenix girls’ varsity soccer Coach Bill Conklin, said Senior Haley Besaw led by the example of hustle. He feels Besaw will leave behind a void that will be hard to fill next season.
Conklin points out Besaw always gave a consistently solid effort on and off the field. He believes Besaw’s younger teammates will benefit from being around someone who has the impressive all around work ethic that she has.
The conclusion of the season marks the end of Conklin’s second season as coach of the Lady Firebirds. However, he credits Besaw for learning all that she did from the experience that she gained in such a short time span.
Conklin hopes every player he coaches can experience some of the all-around development that Besaw experienced during the last two seasons.
Conklin believes his young team will move on from this season ready to embrace a bright future. Phoenix this season won its first regular season game in five years, which is something the team continues to build on.
He also feels his team can hold its head up high after playing competitively against some very good teams.
With only one senior and two juniors this season, the remainder of the team consisted of seven eighth-graders and one seventh-grader, which meant younger players showed signs of development on an everyday basis.
With so much of this year’s team being so young, Conklin feels confident Phoenix girls’ soccer can develop into a stronger program in the coming years.
Looking ahead, Conklin is excited about the potential his young team is showing. He likes the idea of having the opportunity to coach some of these players from junior high on up.
The Lady Firebirds are expected to return 15 players on next years’ team. “With 15 returning players next year and 13 incoming eighth-graders, the Phoenix girls’ soccer team will be looking at a bright future.”, Conklin said.