Reed City soccer coach prepares players for fall season

Reed City boys soccer coach Doug Emington (center) works with players on Tuesday during a summer practice. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

REED CITY — Soccer season is less than a month away and players in the area, including Reed City, are already starting preparations.

Reed City boys’ coach Doug Emington has been working with his players at the Coyotes soccer practice fields.

“Last week, we were here three times,” Emington said. “This week, there will be three opportunities and next week it will be three more opportunities. It’s co-ed, seventh grade and up. Last year. We did the open fields. This year, we’re doing a little intra-squad scrimmage but I try to get some training in first. So we’re changing it up a little bit.

“We’re working on basic skills. (Tuesday) will be training and individual defense, (Wednesday) it will be (team) defense.”

Assistant coach Kim Hunt will supervise an open field in Emington’s absence on Thursday.

“He was actually here the second year we had a program,” Emington said. “When he saw in the paper (last year) that I was coming back to coach, he came back.”

There have been some girls at the workouts.

“The girls from the girls team are allowed in the summer to come work with us,” Emington said. “It’s pretty low key.”

A soccer camp will be next week at McBain Northern Michigan Christian.

“I know a few of our kids will be going up there,” Emington said. “If our numbers are half because of that, it will be great for the kids going there. But then we would probably not be running two days of activities here.”

The MHSAA mandated down period is Aug. 1-8 for soccer.

“We didn’t do anything in June,” Emington said. “We left that for the basketball coaches and football coaches.”

The soccer/football field has been worked on for drainage purposes. The first home game won’t be until Aug. 28 when the Coyotes host Grant. They play four games prior to that on the road: Aug. 19 at the NMC tournament, Aug. 21 at Crossroads, Aug. 23 at Big Rapids and Aug 26 at Kalkaska.

Right now, it looks like Reed City will have a varsity team and no JV. The Coyotes had 21 players on a varsity only team last season.

“We had 10 freshmen last year,” Emington said. “This year, we have most of those back and about half-a-dozen freshmen. Our upperclassmen, we have probably only half a dozen right now. One of them summers in Germany and he’ll be back late. We have the possibility of another foreign exchange student who went home. We’re not sure if he’s going to return.

“I’m thinking we’ll have around 18 or so.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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