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Young Lady Dragons ready to show off resiliency and toughness

Clinton High School is preparing for a fresh start after a disappointing season last year for its girls’ soccer team.

Head Coach Suzanne Stout said they’re focusing on fundamentals for a lot of the girls this year after graduating five seniors last year.

“It’s going to be a young team this year, with only a couple girls returning,” she said. “We have had to teach soccer basics with many of the girls. Even though they’re young, the girls are eager to learn.”

Even with a young team, there have certainly been standouts. Malia Kim, a junior midfielder, will be one such standout, while Autumn Hill will be another. Hill played mostly forward last year, but is expected to play more midfield this season. Raegan Marsee, another junior, is expected to play both defense and midfield.

“I have high expectations for all three, and can see them improve a lot from last year.”

Stout spoke about the effects that Covid has had on the team. Like every team, it’s robbed Clinton not only of practice time, but also team bonding experiences that are especially important for younger teams.Still, it’s given them more time to focus on fundamentals.

“Things have been extremely difficult due to Covid and with the restrictions we had for a young team. We did mostly skill work and conditioning since no contact was allowed for a while. I imagine it’s going to affect us to the extent that we couldn’t do a lot of things due to the restrictions.”

With a young team, it’s always hard to know what will ultimately come to define them, and with restrictions around Covid, that’s doubly true. Teams need time to prove themselves and let their specialties show through. Despite that, though, Coach Stout thinks she already knows what will define the team.

“These girls are resilient. They have had to go through something that no other team before them has had to go through; but that has made them patient and determined to make this year amazing and fun. This is a young team who’s excited to get to play and learn the game of soccer. This is a team that wants to have fun.”