We know that we can be as good as we want to be if we put in the work. If we don’t put in the work and we don’t put in the commitment to it, then we will be as good as we ought to be.Lady Rebels soccer coach Wade Wright
SPRINGFIELD — Effingham County’s girls soccer team may be young but it is not inexperienced.
“The thing that I like about them is that they all know how to play,” Lady Rebels head coach Wade Wright said Thursday.
Thirteen of the team’s 25 players are freshmen. Most played in middle school and many are involved in club leagues.
“Our expectations are realistic. They were last year and they are this year,” Wright said. “We know that we can be as good as we want to be if we put in the work. If we don’t put in the work and we don’t put in the commitment to it, then we will be as good as we ought to be.”
Led by captains Bailee Hildebrandt, Ashlynn Goff and Megan Zeldenrust, the Lady Rebels have worked hard so far.
“One of the first things I tell people is, ‘The captains run the show,’” Wright said. “They are the ones who are my field generals.”
Wright said he won’t have a full understanding of his team’s capabilities until it plays a few games. Effingham County will open its season Tuesday against Bryan County.
“That’s a game that we can make some mistakes in and do some (experimental) things,” Wright said. “They are good but, by sheer numbers, we should be able to wear them down and bring out a win.”
The Lady Rebels have a scrimmage set Thursday versus Savannah Christian and will host South Effingham on Feb. 4.
“Then I’ve got a week of practice and I jump right into (the Region 2-AAAAAA schedule at Glynn Academy on Feb. 18),” Wright said.
The coach expects his younger players to be surprised by “the pace of play.”
“Since day one, I’ve said, ‘Y’all are good but you have no idea what is getting ready to hit you,’” he said. “In club leagues, everybody is in the same age group. In his school soccer, you can have ninth graders against seniors so you have 14 years olds against 18 year olds. That four years is a big deal.”
The extra years give upperclassmen a strength advantage.
“The’s a big learning curve,” Wright said.