Nevada boys soccer coach Bill George hopes experience is a plus for his team on Thursday when the fourth ranked Cubs take on top ranked Dyersville Beckman in the class 1A quarterfinal round of the state soccer tournament in Des Moines. Nevada lost to eventual champion Iowa City Regina in last year’s opening round.
“We only lost one or two seniors last year, sot he core of our team was coming back, so we only had a few holes to fill in our lineup. I thought our chances of getting back this year would be pretty good as long as we could execute the game plan,” George says.
George says the experience gained last year should help them on Thursday as they were young and kind of in awe a little bit of being in the tournament. It has been as hectic week for several Nevada starters who also play for the school’s baseball team.
He says they are torn between two sports right now, with 8 starters who are varsity baseball players. George says the school has moved the baseball schedule around a little bit to help the team prepare for the tournament.
Iowa City West will open a bid for a sixth state championship on Thursday when the top ranked Trojans take on Sioux City West in a class 3A quarterfinal at the boys state soccer tournament. This will be the program’s 13th straight trip to the state tournament but coach Brad Stiles says it never gets old.
“It’s one thing we don’t want to take for granted, that’s for sure,” Stiles says. He says each team is a little different and the conditions can be different too based on the weather.
Stiles says the expectations are high for the program ever year as the success breeds popularity and they had over 130 kids try out this year. Stiles says conditioning is always a big factor at the state tournament. It will take three wins in three days to claim the title.
“Fitness becomes a factor in that second and third day and just the mental side of it being in a routine for three days is hard for the high school kids to deal with,” Stiles says. He says they will go back and forth each day so the kids can sleep in their own beds.
The Trojans are 18-1 on the season. See the complete schedule on the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s website.