Petty weighs in on Southside soccer

Published 7:10 pm Thursday, August 25, 2016

CHOCOWINITY — Southside soccer may have suffered its first loss of the young campaign Wednesday at home against Farmville Central, but the Seahawks are still off to a hot start. They already own a pair of wins over Ayden-Grifton as they aim at improving on last year’s strong 13-7 season.

Eight different players have scored a goal for Southside so far. Coach Jay Petty believes the chemistry and unselfishness with the ball are both among the Seahawks’ strengths.

Here’s what Petty had to say about how the Seahawks look through three games.


On playing an unselfish style:

“So far, the biggest thing I’ve been pleased with is the unselfishness of the players. We’ve seen through both the games (against Ayden-Grifton) that multiple players are scoring and they’re unselfish with each other.

“It just kind of naturally happened. Most of these guys have been playing together for a while. It’s growing into where they really enjoy playing soccer together. I think they like to see each other succeed when they’re playing. Just the spirit and attitude they’re competing with, they’re really excited to be playing.”

On the non-conference competition the Seahawks have faced thus far:

“When (athletic director Sean White) and I talked about it, we really wanted to find teams that were going to be challenging. This is actually the first year that Southside has ever beaten Ayden-Grifton. Last year, we split with Farmville Central. Unfortunately, we only have that one game with them this year.

On his expectations for 1-A Coastal Plains Conference play:

“I’m really hoping that we can pull off a conference championship this year. Of course, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, but I think there’s a good opportunity in conference this year. East Carteret and Lejeune are going to be our toughest opponents this year. Last year, the whole conference was tough. We tied for second place and it’s a tough conference.”

On what players to look out for:

“Right now, they’re all just playing unselfishly and playing some good team soccer. If I had to have two go-to guys, I would have to say it’s Luke Matthews and Jairo Juarez. Those forwards were scoring consistently for us up until (Wednesday).

“Then I’ve got a big midfielder in Caleb Petty. It’s obvious when he’s not in the midfield. We struggle controlling it. When he’s in, we have a pretty good opportunity. I’d say wraps around those three, but it’s also the unselfishness. All those guys are having a good time playing soccer together.”

On the team’s immediate goals early in the season:

“Right now, our first measure is to get through the non-conference schedule working and getting better. Conference play doesn’t really start until October. I want to make sure we’re good and ready to go and have all the pieces together. We want to have a pretty good season in conference, so that’s our focus right now.

“In the non-conference schedule, we want to find what works, what doesn’t work. We’re still playing for the win, but we’re really kind of tweaking and finding what works.”