LAURINBURG — The Fighting Scots soccer team paid no attention to the sporadic rain showers that accompanied its first official practice of the season.
It was also the first practice under the direction of newly hired coach Blake Dickerson, a 2012 graduate of South View High School.
Dickerson takes the helm from Danny Gallagher, who served as the Scots skipper for four seasons and had a combined record of 25-50-4. This will be Dickerson’s first head coaching job.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association voted in May to eliminate tie games — beginning this season all tie games will be decided by penalty kicks. The decision to eliminate ties was based on a need for consistency in seeding during the playoffs.
Previously, the NCHSAA has allowed individual conferences to decide whether or not overtime and penalty kicks would be utilized to break a regular season tie.
On Monday, the Scots broke into two teams and worked on different offensive and defensive schemes. The pouring rain didn’t slow the pace of the play, but did cause a few missteps to result in players slipping on the wet grass and landing on their backs.
The Scots return starting goalie Aubrey Graham, midfielders Hunter Edkins, Gabriel Jordan, Andrew Monroe, Adolfo Duran and AJ Politsch, striker Luis Caulderon-Flores, fullback Nate Dubbs and forward Scott Mager.
Graduation hit the team hard, losing all-conference players Nyjel Collins-Jackson and Donovan O’Donnell along with starters Tripp Wells, Ryan Phillips, Trey Armstrong, Elias Reyes and James McIntyre.
Scotland will have practice the rest of the week before traveling to Hoke on Saturday for scrimmage games. The Scots first game of the season is a non-conference match between East Bladen in Elizabethtown on Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]