DHS soccer ready for season

Published 11:43 pm Friday, February 6, 2009

The Demopolis High School soccer team opens its season Tuesday when it hosts Hillcrest of Tuscaloosa. The game, which will pit Demopolis against a 6A squad, is indicative of the rigorous nature of the team’s 2009 schedule.

“You play bigger and better teams and you hope to get better,” DHS head coach Peter Keen said of the philosophy behind the program’s scheduling practices.

The team returns the bulk of its 2008 roster, a fact Keen believes will prove beneficial in its quest for a strong 2009 showing.

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“Really and truly, we’ve got the same team back,” Keen said. “It should help us out a lot.”

One key change to the team’s makeup is the departure of 2008 senior Rob Cooke, the men’s soccer signee from Demopolis. Keen is confident in Cooke’s apparent replacement, freshman Jarvis Lawson.

“I’m actually going to start out with a ninth grader up there. He’s got good foot skills and can be a little bit intimidating,” Keen said of Lawson.

The squad will also boast consistency in goal as 2008 starter Rachel Walker returns to the keeper spot.

Demopolis will also rely heavily on the leadership of senior captain Tyler Brooker as well as junior captains Brandon Hay and Rem Keen.

The squad will play a 17-game schedule that features Tuscaloosa-area foes American Christian, Hillcrest, Bryant, Central and Northridge. However, Peter Keen’s biggest concern is area play, which again sees Demopolis facing powerhouse John Carroll twice.

“We’ll play John Carroll again,” Keen said. “They’re in our area. That will be the toughest team we face again.”

The team alternate home and road games this season, playing each of its host contests on Tuesdays and each of its away matches on Fridays. The Tigers season opens Tuesday at Memorial Stadium and is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.