Lady Seahawks aiming to improve

Published 10:46 pm Thursday, March 16, 2017

CHOCOWINITY — South Central cruised past Southside, 9-0, on Thursday. The Lady Seahawks came out flat and let up six goals in the first half, but the second-half showing was a world of difference.

That’s the objective of the season: improvement. Coach Jay Petty wasn’t too pleased with the start, but was elated the way his team responded in the second half.

“I’m wondering if our first half was flat because we hadn’t touched a ball since Monday,” Petty said. The Lady Seahawks practiced on Monday and were supposed to play Wednesday, but the game was postponed due to the cold and wind.

“I know that happens sometimes. You get out of the rhythm of playing. … We came out in the second half — South Central, they’ve got a good program out there and a good coach — I knew it was going to be tough, but the one thing I wanted was not to give the game away. But our girls came out in the second half and South Central earned everything.”

Southside opened its season at South Central on Feb. 27. Just over two weeks later, the Lady Seahawks were able to hold their own in the second half against a 4-A club. Petty said that the level of aggression has been the biggest difference between that first game of the campaign and the second meeting with the Lady Falcons.

Of the five games Southside has played, all have been against opponents in a higher classification. The Lady Seahawks have a win over a 2-A squad in Farmville Central, and also help their own in a home-and-home series with West Craven.

It’s been a trial by fire, but that’s just about how Petty wanted the program to begin.

“We’re just trying to play teams that are close,” Petty said. “If you play all easy teams all year, you don’t grow. Our philosophy is to go ahead and play some teams … We know it’s going to be a battle.”

And that’s the overall objective of this first season. Petty and the Lady Seahawks want to lay the groundwork for the program by being better at the end than when they started.

So far, mission accomplished.

“The biggest thing, so far, is just the team unity,” Petty said. “They’re really starting to come together. The first couple of games, they were really disorganized. A lot of these girls played rec when they were little, but they haven’t played since. A lot of these girls have never played.

“The team shape and being on the field and knowing what to do has come along. Some of them have been working on their own. I see their touches and their skill level improving. Overall, between the individual skill level improving and the team unity … It’s all come a long way in just three weeks.”

Southside will be back in action on Monday at Farmville Central. The Lady Seahawks are on the hunt for their second win of the season against a team they’ve already beat.