By Mark Lewis
Local Sports Journal
There’s a lot to be excited about in Wolf Lake as the Oakridge Eagle varsity soccer team returns a ton of talent from last year’s 16-2-2 squad.
The Eagles sport nine returning starters, and, with just two seniors on the roster, the team can still be considered one of the youngest teams in the area.
It can also be considered one of the area’s best.
The Eagles have taken seven of the last nine West Michigan Conference titles, and made it to the regional finals last season, falling 2-0 to Grand Rapids Catholic.
Second-year head coach Jeff Lohman said his team is still learning to play his way.
“This is our second year in our new system of play,” said Lohman, “so we feel the girls will have more confidence with what they need to do and where they need to play. We are excited about the season. “
The Eagles return All-State Honorable players Beka Shepherd and Aliza Olsen, and All-District players McKayla Wall, the goalkeeper, Emily Jacoutot, Megan Larabee, Shelbe Wilde, and Honorable Mention All-District returners Hannah Jones and Brandy Weaver.
Two other returners, junior Morgan Larabee, and sophomore McKenzie Davis, 10th grade, will be counted on; Davis will be an anchor for the Eagle defense.
Freshman Lanessa Meyers surprised her teammates after finishing with the highest scores on both the team’s skills and fitness tests.
“I am excited to see how she performs at the varsity level,” said Lohman.
The Eagles with be with the services of Oakridge boys soccer coach Greg Fleener.
“I am excited to bring him on board” said Lohman, “as he will add a new perspective to the game for our girls.”
Coaching the keepers will be Loghan Stong, who is the starting goal keeper for Muskegon Community College.
Lohman said there will be several teams in the West Michigan Conference capable of challenging the Eagles in 2014, including Whitehall, Hart and North Muskegon.