Getting bigger, Better

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Andalusia's Trey Ossenfort plays during a game last season. | File photo

Andalusia’s Trey Ossenfort plays during a game last season. | File photo

In less than three weeks, Andalusia’s soccer team will hit the field once again as the Bulldogs start their 2014 season.

The Bulldogs will field a team of 27 players a season after they had a team with 10 seniors, six of whom were starters.

When Andalusia soccer coach Tim Ramsden saw the Bulldogs at tryouts, the third-year coach said he decided to do things differently.

Ramsden’s main reasoning for this line of thinking is because of the size of his players.

“We’re very small compared to last year,” Ramsden said.

The Bulldogs worked out and trained through Christmas on a mixture of different regimens designed to build cardio and strength.

“It was sort of a cross between cardio running and cross fit,” Ramsden said. “We did a lot of strength training while using your own body weight.”

For 1 hour and 45 minutes during each workout session, the Bulldogs would do lunges, squats and different types of running drills to establish a hard core, Ramsden said.

“You name it, we did it,” he said.

Ramsden said he was proud of how hard the team worked during December and January.

“This team has worked extremely hard,” he said. “I’ve been very impressed.”

There are only two seniors on the Bulldogs squad. They are Zach Parker and Antonio Reyes. The juniors this year are Kevin Rooks, James Albritton, Ben Jackson and Trey Ossenfort. There are six sophomores, two freshmen, six eighth graders and six seventh graders.

Andalusia will be playing in Class 1A-4A, Area 2 with Charles Henderson, Houston Academy and Providence Christian. HA and PCS are 2A schools, while CHHS is 4A.

After losing six starters, three of which — Christopher Smith and Hiren and Hiten Patel — helped carry the load for AHS last season, a big weakness for the Bulldogs this year will be “experience and physical size,” Ramsden said.

A big strength that the Bulldogs are displaying is “heart,” the coach said.

“They seem to have a lot of heart,” Ramsden said. “They’re willing to put it all out there and work hard, and try to get better. They’ve got quite a bit of heart right now.

“Defensively, we’re a little weak,” he said. “We’re a little offense and midfield heavy.”

Position-wise, Ramsden said he knows where players will fit on the field, and now it’s just a matter of figuring out who goes in as subs.

Andalusia begins its season on Feb. 17 at home against Enterprise.