“I think the team will be different this year,” Bailey said. “The team will be more balanced.”
With last season’s roster full of seniors, the Lady Patriots compiled a 13-3 record before falling to Savannah County Day by a goal in the second round of the playoffs.
“We have several freshmen this year starting,” Bailey said. “We lost a lot of seniors and they will be hard to replace but someone has to step up. When you graduate people somebody else has to step up and be that next person to shine.”
On offense, at least one of those players should be junior Grace Smoak.
“She is a great player,” Bailey said. “She runs track here also. Grace is super fast and will play up top for us.”
Senior Kayla Bailey, who is Bailey’s daughter and a Covenant College commit, will assist the goaltender on the other end of the field and lead the defense.
“I have challenged her to be a vocal leader, a coach on the field,” Bailey said. “To tell the defense what to do.”
“We ran a lot before the season,” Kayla Bailey said. “We had a really tough trainer who worked with us in June and July. Just on getting physically fit so that really helped us.”
Currently, Strong Rock is 1-0-1, following a 4-1 victory over Rutland on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Lady Patriots will continue a four-game road trip against Stockbridge.
“The game against Jackson was kind of discouraging,” Mike Bailey said. “They scored with a minute left. It feels like a loss to the coaches but the girls played really well.”
On Friday, Strong Rock visits Brookstone before closing its trek against Landmark Christian on Tuesday.
“Brookstone will be a good challenge for us,” Bailey said. “They always have a solid program. Landmark plays us better than some of the other teams they play but I’m just not sure what they’re going to have this year,” Bailey said.