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4:37 PM Tue, Jan. 22nd

Prep Soccer: Lady Vols keeping their aim toward state

KINGMAN – Chris Selby is only in his second year at the helm, but he has his sights set high.

The Lee Williams High School girls soccer team already took the first step toward living up to those expectations last week with a win over Lake Havasu, but the journey is just beginning.

“This year is going to be a good year for us,” Selby said. “I think maybe even playoffs. We should have at least a winning record. Anything less than that, I’d be a little disappointed.”

The Lady Vols had one of their most successful seasons a year ago with a program-best four wins and they return a solid core of athletes from that squad.

The leaders and captains include a pair of seniors – Sadie Serrano and Cindy Ramirez – and a pair of juniors – Natalie Sanchez and Kendra Pease. The group already made their presence known in the season-opener, but that was no surprise.

“I have two juniors, Natalie Sanchez and Kendra Pease, who are going to have strong seasons,” Selby said. “My other senior is Cindy Ramirez, she’s the captain of the defense.”

And Selby has even higher expectations of Serrano, who has colleges already offering her scholarships. She has yet to accept one, but Selby sees her playing at the next level.

The Lady Vols also have a lot more talent other than the four mentioned above – and they’re underclassmen.

“I have some really good freshmen that are automatic starters,” Selby said. “They’ve already won starting positions. Makenzie Cathey is going to be a goal scorer. Natalie Castillo is a really good defender.”

Cathey has only played one high school game, but already has a goal and two assists to her name.

But Lee Williams’ depth doesn’t stop with its varsity squad.

“I’m super excited to have a JV team this year,” Selby said. “All in all, the program is starting to build right now. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Only time will tell how the Lady Vols fare over the course of the season, but the No. 1 goal is to advance to the 4A Conference State Championship. In order to do that, Lee Williams needs to win a match in the 4A Grand Canyon Region – something that hasn’t been done in program history.

But Selby and the Lady Vols are hungry to change that.

“If we can beat Coconino, Mingus and Bradshaw Mountain this year, I think we get in the playoffs,” Selby said. “Those are all teams that we are capable of beating.”

Lee Williams also has another region foe to think about sooner than expected. The Lady Vols travel to Prescott Thursday after they make the short trip to Kingman High Tuesday.

“Our hardest game is going to be against Prescott,” Selby said.

But the difficulties of the schedule aren’t going to stop Lee Williams from making noise.

“As a team, we’re really focused and I think focused on playing together for each other,” Selby said. “Not individually, but for each other. The team concept is really there.”