AHS women’s soccer possibility in ‘17

Published 12:52 am Saturday, November 28, 2015

AHS soccer coach Tim Ramsden at a match last year.

AHS soccer coach Tim Ramsden at a match last year.

AHS head soccer coach Tim Ramsden said he will hold an informal tryout for a girls-only soccer team this year, with hopes of establishing a program by 2017.

“This is our fifth year to play soccer at AHS,” he said. “Our second year, we were the Area champs.”

“There’s been a push the last few years to try and get a girls’ program,” Ramsden said. “But it’s difficult to get a squad together just for boys. We had 55 try out last year, but the talent level and participation is not quite there.”

At present, AHS fields a co-ed team.

Ramsden said there can only be 11 players on the field, and the most who can dress out for any game is 22.

“We usually go with a squad of 25 or 26 players,” he said. “While you might think that quite large, it’s not. If you have a bigger squad, you can start them younger and try to get them better.”

Last year, he said, there were several AHS players in the 7th and 8th grades.

“They weighed maybe 110 pounds,” he said. “It’s not fun for them going up against guys my size.”

Tryouts begin in the coming week.

“We’ll go through the first and second weeks of December, and then pick a squad of 25 to 28 players,” Ramsden said.

The most difficult task, he said, is getting the players into shape.

“Jan. 19 is the first day we can work with a ball,” he said. “Hopefully, by then, we’ll have the conditioning done.”

Because Ramsden is an engineer by trade, the squad has to practice after hours, which can be difficult for players and parents, he said. This year, there will be time in fourth block at AHS for some conditioning, with assistant coach David Kirkland serving as the school sponsor.

“We beat teams by being in better shape than anybody out there,” Ramsden said. “We’re one of the more physical teams we see. We run more, and have more heart than teams that we play.”

The team will play 16 to 18 games between Feb. 8 and April 23.