MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon volleyball team, men's and women's soccer teams and men's and women's cross country teams began preseason practice on Aug. 17.
Updates for each team's preseason are being featured this week. Volleyball began the week on Monday, followed by women's soccer on Tuesday and men's and women's cross country on Wednesday. Today's featured team is men's soccer.
After opening the preseason with 37 players, the Huntingdon men's soccer team is wrapping up the first week of practice.
Coming off a 2-13-1 record last season, the Hawks have higher expectations for this season.
Huntingdon opens the season at home on Sept. 1 against the Mississippi University for Women. This will be the first season of competition for the MUW men's soccer team.
Head Coach Matt Cooper on preseason improvement: "Anytime you lose a guy who scored 12 goals, it is tough to fill. But we have some guys coming in who have really stepped up and are scoring a lot of goals in the preseason. We weren't great defensively last year, but between the two center backs and both outsides, I think we have it sorted out a little better. We look much better defensively.
"Overall, from top to bottom, I have seen improvement. I think we're much improved from last year and we're going to have more depth, which is big in our conference. It's still early, but I definitely have high hopes."
Cooper on the potential of his newcomers: "We're going to be young, but we're going to be talented. I think we have a lot of talented freshmen. The key is going to be finding the right mix of newcomers and returners. I'm encouraged by what I have seen so far."
Cooper on building depth: "We're trying to find the top 18-22 guys who are going to consistently see playing time and there are still some positions that are up for grabs. I'm looking for some young guys, and some returners who didn't play as much last year, to step up and play key roles this season."