> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
With seven returning starters and a pair of talented freshmen, Jeff hopes to build on a 2012 campaign that was one of its best in years.
Devan Carrier leads a group of six seniors that looks to continue to make an impact on the Red Devil program.
“Last season was better than the season before and now we have to take the next step to prove we can compete and win against teams in our conference and teams in our area,” Jeff coach Scott Epley said. “We need to develop over the season to be ready to compete against them. Our work will not be easy, and it takes a team to accomplish our goals. We look like that team right now, but the season has yet to begin.”
Epley said he’s seen an increase in offseason activity among his players, led by captains Hannah Scott, Beka Harris and Carrier.
“This offseason the team proved that the girls were willing to sacrifice their time and condition and practice so we can accomplish our season goals,” Epley said. “Our captains took the initiative and got on the horn to get everyone to come out and participate. For the first time over the last three years, the players were dedicated to showing up and working.”
New Albany is coming off of its first sectional title in school history and has nine returning varsity contributors.
However, the Bulldogs will be without all-conference performers Tanner Marcum, Phoebe Bauer and keeper Kaelin Blessinger. Coach Julie Deuser also left to take an assistant coach position at Hanover College.
Still, first-year Bulldog coach Tim Quakenbush believes the Bulldogs can contend for a second straight sectional crown.
“Expectations are high,” Quakenbush said. “The girls had a great summer with voluntary workouts and three scrimmages and showed a lot of potential.”
Stephanie and Selena Iglesias return in the New Albany midfield and lead a strong senior class that includes Rachel Bowden and Miranda Duffy as outside backs.
“Our goal is simple: Improve every day as a player and as a team,” Quakenbush said. “We obviously have other goals as well, but everything starts with this one simple concept and the girls have taken to the concept very well. They are a terrific group of kids that are very close. The senior captains are doing a great job with leadership and building team chemistry.”