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Cameron excited about young Ringgold girls soccer team's prospects

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Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

For Tom Cameron, the longtime soccer coach who is entering his fifth season as the lead mentor of the Ringgold Lady Rams, he has seen a lot of scenarios as his respective teams prepared for a new season.

After graduating eight seniors from last year's team, and considering that Ringgold plays in the daunting Section 4 AAA, it would be understandable for Cameron to be dreading the start of the season.

However, on the contrary, Cameron is excited and ready to go.

“We are a very young team but that means (the staff) gets to teach more,” he said while quipping, “I like to think I am a teacher without a teaching certificate!”

The Lady Rams have as many freshmen (six) as they do seniors, and they also have 10 sophomores and five juniors.

“We are realistic considering how young we are,” Cameron said. “The goal is always the playoffs, and that won't change.

“We will just have to rely on a few experienced players.”

At the top of that list is senior sweeper Jill Bartman, a four-year starter, junior forward Alaina Nickolls, a three-year starter, and a pair of two-year starters in senior goalkeeper Jordan Curry and sophomore forward Brooke Vollmer.

“Jill is one of the best players in the section,” Cameron said. “And the other returning starters, they will have to provide leadership and experience.”

Bartman, Nickolls, Curry and senior stopper Meagan Hyslop are the team captains.

While all of the starting positions have not been filled, others are set.

Junior Caylee Miller will play the midfield, junior Bailee Bove is at forward, junior Ashley Parnell is at midfield, and the sophomore duo of Alyssa Skrinjorich and Kelsey Kaufman will be on defense.

Also seeing time will be senior midfielder Tiffany Behanna, senior defender Rebecca Prodroky, senior midfielder Caroline Passareth, and junior forward Taylor Koziel.

Another junior, midfielder Casadi Patterson, may or may not be cleared later in the season due to an injury.

So what does Cameron see as the main key for the season?

“We have to possess the ball more than our opponents,” he said. “If we do that, we will limit the other teams.

“We won't necessarily have a potent offense, so we have to control the ball.”

Cameron's expectations?

“We want everyone, coaches and players, to give 100 percent every day,” he said. “I expect to do us and I am excited about it. I really am thrilled to get the season going.”

Ringgold is in Section 4 AAA with Albert Gallatin, Baldwin, Bethel Park, McKeesport, Mt. Lebanon and Trinity.

The Lady Rams host Yough Saturday at noon to kick off their season.

Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.

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