While the many of the county's schools are preparing for football season, Augusta Preparatory Day coach Doug Williamson is prepping his team for a different kind of football.
Peyton Bell (left) and Cary Goldsmith practice at Augusta Prep. The Cavaliers will travel to Macon this week to play in the Viking Cup tournament.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The Cavaliers practiced during the last week for the start of the Georgia Independent Schools Association soccer season, which begins for Augusta Prep on Friday in Macon.
Augusta Prep will travel to play in the Viking Cup, GISA's most prestigious soccer tournament, to be held at First Presbyterian Day School. The tournament will play host to 13 schools, including Westminster of Augusta and most of GISA's best soccer programs. Augusta Prep went 1-1-1 at last season's tournament.
"These big tournaments are such a boost for our team," said Williamson. "We get to play the best competition and it helps us see where we need to work."
The tournament is just the start of a 20-plus game season for Augusta Prep, a school where soccer is king because the school doesn't have a football team.
"Soccer means a lot to the student body, I think," said senior captain Peyton Bell. "We are really the biggest sport going right now, so we try and do our best."
The team did its best last two seasons, posting the first back-to-back 10-win seasons in school history.
The Cavaliers finished second in the region and made the Elite 8 last season. Augusta Prep also beat Westminster (at Westminster) for the first time in years.
"Westminster is our rival," said Jason Trefz. "We want to beat them bad. Some students don't watch a game all year, but come to see us play Westminster. We want to win the region and win a state title, but beating Westminster is icing on the cake."
The team must replace Patrick Welch, who was All-State, and All-Region performer Ian Evans.
"There is no doubt those will be tough losses," Williamson said. "We just have to hope that others will step up. I think they can."
Williamson will count on captains Bell, Trefz and David Knerr for leadership. Scoring help should come from junior Thomas Knerr, who led the Cavaliers in scoring last season en route to being named an honorable mention All-Area player for The Augusta Chronicle. Both Knerrs and Trefz made the All-Region team last year.
"We have a tremendous amount of talent," David Knerr said. "It is just a matter of us piecing it together and I think we will. I want this group of seniors to graduate with a state title."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.