by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
ROLESVILLE — The upside of starting a brand new program is the future is wide open for expansion.
Rolesville High School soccer coach James Overman said he is looking forward to seeing how much the soccer program can grow over the next few years.
Overman played for the Greensboro Soccer Club and is beginning his coaching career as the Rams head man.
It’s not always easy to start a team from scratch, and Overman has already had to overcome some obstacles in putting a roster together.
During the first week of summer workouts, Overman said he had eight to nine players participate each day.
There was some concern as to whether there would be enough players to field a team. “Now I am expecting to have somewhere between 12-15 players,” he said.
“I think the main difficulty has been getting the word out about the team,” Overman added. “I don’t think a lot of people realized that we were starting to practice as early as we did and that is why we have had such low numbers.”
Rolesville is a member of the Greater Neuse River Conference and Overman knows the challenges that will come when his team plays the more experienced programs in the league.
“Since Rolesville will have just freshmen and sophomores this year, we’ll be at a disadvantage from a physical standpoint playing against juniors and seniors,” he said.
Of the players who have been participating in practices, about half play club soccer.
‘We have two to three recreational players and the rest of them are either playing for the first time or haven’t played since they were 5 or 6 years old,” Overman said.
With the mix of inexperience players and those with knowledge of the game, workouts have consisted of different drills. Players have been working on the basics as well as some conditioning.
Overman believes his team is in a unique situation because the players are coming in as freshmen and sophomores and they are expected to carry the load.
“Most of the time, you have upperclassmen that are already established as leaders of the team and the younger players have to find ways to fit into the team,” he said. ‘Since we are new, everything is up for grabs and the players will have opportunities that most kids their age don’t get.”
The Rams goals for their inaugural season are to simply learn and grow.
“The main goal for this season is improvement,” he added. “I just want to see growth from our players. I think throughout the next few years, we will see that fruition as the school grows in numbers.”