After finishing their inaugural season 1-15, the girls’ soccer program is now coached by Mistie Mayfield who said she is preparing to put together a great team of girls.
“Mentally I have been trying to put together a group of girls that will represent New Manchester High School and the varsity soccer team to the best of their ability,” said Mayfield, who formerly served as head girls soccer coach at Douglas County High School.
In preparation for the season, the team has begun practicing and Mayfield said she has been preparing the girls with “their fitness and their running and touching the ball.”
This season, Mayfield named Eriel Birdsong, Taiylar Hibbard, Alexia Mitchell, Maria Rivera and Thamara Velasco as her key returners for the team.
“Thamara, Eriel and Alexia are key players and leaders for the team with their defense intact and their skill. I believe they will lead the team and be successful. Maria and Taiylar [are key players] with their speed and never-give-up attitude,” Mayfield said.
The Jaguars will compete in Region 5-AAAAA against the likes of Allatoona, which advanced to the state semifinals in 2012, and 2012 playoff teams North Paulding and South Paulding.
Only winning one game and scoring four points over the entire season, Mayfield and the team have set goals of scoring more points and winning at least two games, she said. They also plan to work hard in every game and do the best they can, she said.
Mayfield also has a goal for uniting the team as one family unit.
“It is very important to me to help the team come together as a family and feel they are a part of a group they can have fun with and learn the great game of soccer,” Mayfield said.
With the season opener Feb. 12 against Rockmart, Mayfield said she is excited about where she believes the team will go now that they have more confidence and know what to expect.
“I am extremely excited about being the head coach this year and coaching this group of girls. They bring so much joy in my life, and I love seeing their faces when they work hard and are successful. I feel the level of the team will rise this year because of higher expectations,” said Mayfield.