Bright future still ahead for Amory soccer

Soccer season ended a little too early for you guys too, right? I have to admit that late last week, I was already making preliminary plans to be in Clinton this weekend. Hopefully that wasn’t a jinx, but both soccer teams can look back on this season with much to be proud of.
We’ll start with the boys team, who seemed to have all the odds against them this year where the injury bug was concerned.
It’s no surprise that they’ve played their best soccer of the year in the past two or three weeks when they finally got everyone back healthy. A few of those games in particular – last Saturday against Caledonia, Tuesday’s win at Lewisburg – stick out in my mind that they should be particularly proud of.
The only downside when you look back on their season is the fact that they’re losing nine seniors, the majority of whom are starters. They include, most notably, keeper Ross Trautman and leading scorer Garrett Trautman. They’ll need what the girls team has now – a lot of talented younger kids stepping up in those roles.
Speaking of the girls team, it’s both surprising and disappointing that they fell short of their first North state finals, especially in light of losing the state’s leading scorer Addie Forbus, but if you take a glance at their roster, they’ll be loaded with experience for several years to come.
Every year in different sports, we talk about having to “replace” certain players, and when you come down to it, some of them can’t necessarily be replaced – Addie Forbus is one of those.
Her stats are enough to prove that. We’ve all been so focused on that 231 career goals number this season that another number hasn’t been noticed quite as much – 50, the number of goals she had this year and which, if all stats are updated for other teams, should lead the state for the second time in her high school career.
About the only positive you can find in losing a great player like Forbus? You’ve got a team full of younger girls who’ve been watching her play for years and imagining themselves stepping up to fill her shoes, 17 in fact who are freshmen or younger on this year’s roster. And the Lady Panthers will have strong senior leadership next year as well with this year’s juniors, Bailey Boyd, Bailey Oswalt, Shelby Thornton and Anna Carson, all of who started this season.
I have to admit that when the season started, I’d never covered soccer before and watched it on a limited basis, so it’s been a very welcome surprise how much I’ve enjoyed this season.
But as is typical in this job, when one thing comes to an end, another starts up in its place. Soccer may be over, but with baseball and softball practice starting, those seasons will be getting started before we know it.

Melissa Meador is the Sports Editor of the Monroe Journal. Contact her at melissa.meador@journalinc.com or follow her on Twitter: @MelissaMeador14.