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Wildcat girls soccer back to work after state finish

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg’s Leia Shaffer works on a passing drill during the Wildcats’ team camp on June 15. Approximately 20 kids attended the team camp and the Wildcats have been working hard this month in hopes of improving off their fourth place finish at state.


Sure, the Louisburg High School girls soccer team may have just had its best finish in program history less than a month ago, but the Wildcats were quickly back to work in preparation for next season.

A fourth-place finish at the Class 4-1A state tournament didn’t buy the Wildcats much time off as they started their summer conditioning less than two weeks following their final state game and they ramped it up even more when took part in their week-long team camp that began on June 12.

“Camp went well for us,” Louisburg coach Kyle Conley said. “We worked on a lot of technique that week. We focused on trying to clean up technique and speed of play. I was pleased with how hard the girls worked and how focused they were. We had anywhere from 18-22 kids there all week.”

The Wildcats would have had more, but they had several players out due to injury that they either suffered during the season or shortly after.

All-league defender Camdyn Clark was out with a bad knee injury she sustained in the third-place game at state at the end of May. The team’s leading scorer, Bailey Belcher, was also dealing with an injury.

Louisburg coach Kyle Conley goes over a drill during the Wildcats team’s camp on June 15.

In all, Louisburg has about five or six players that missed time due to ailments, which left the numbers a little down than Conley would want for the other summer workouts.

“Our numbers have been all over the place,” he said. “For camp, we had great numbers, but practices we have had 12 to 20-plus. It creates some creative coaching situations, but the kids do not complain and just work on getting better. The attitude has been extremely productive regardless how many kids we have had come out.”

Throughout the month of June, the Wildcats hit the weight room three times a week and had practices two to three times a week. It is also a good opportunity for Conley to get to know his incoming freshman and vice versa.

“Summer also helps a lot of the newer players and/or freshmen to learn what we do and what our expectations are,” Conley said. “These practices also help our team chemistry come together and develop a bond that will help carry us moving forward.

“This past season was extremely special. It is one for the history books, but we need to always try to keep getting better. Some people question why we have summer practice, but a majority of my kids do not play club soccer and literally play only March 1 to May 27. They do not play other than that. So it is essential that we keep up with everyone else in the state and work on some things. Summer for us is a lot of technique and speed of play. We use this time to clean up some things and improve. We cannot get better sitting on the couch.”

Bria Jensen was one of approximately 20 kids who attended the Wildcats team camp.

Conley hopes the hard work over the summer pays off for what the Wildcats believe could be another special season next spring. Louisburg returns most of its team that finished with a 13-7-1 record, including five of its six players that earned all-Frontier League honors.

They hope to turn that fourth-place state medal into something a little bigger next May.

“I am extremely excited when looking ahead to the girls season,” Conley said. “I personally feel we did not play our best soccer the last three games of the year. I feel that we had a great opportunity, but we did not execute as well as we should have. I feel that the girls were a little nervous, but I think it started a fire underneath them and next year could be just as special as this year.

“After all of the adversities and injuries we dealt with this past season, it gave a lot of kids an opportunity to get experience at the varsity level. I expect this season to be extremely competitive and intense.”

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