War Eagle soccer team has huge learning curve
Published 10:06 am Thursday, August 12, 2021
By Brian Pitts
If you’re Jason Clark, who is about to begin his first season as the Davie varsity boys soccer coach, how should you feel as you inherit a team that went 0-12 last season while getting outscored 59-6?
Pretty good, actually. Almost anything this season will be improvement.
Clark is trying to transform a dormant program that has won 11 games over seven years, including three in the Central Piedmont Conference. There have been eight straight losing seasons.
“They’re putting in the time,” Clark said. “For a lot of them, it’s a huge learning curve for the type of soccer we’re going to play. Even some of the older ones have never played this positional-based soccer.”
Clark is leaning on junior center back Nick Ruff, senior midfielder Brian Reyes, freshman forward Alex Torres, freshman defender Alex Tarbet and sophomore goalie Victor Calix. Ruff and Reyes are the captains.
“I think (Torres) realizes his capability,” he said. “His understanding of soccer and capability allows him to play at multiple levels. I don’t think the age nor his size matters to him.
“(Tarbet) has a very good understanding of the game. He’s able to think and play the ball way ahead of where he should be as a freshman. He understands the game, understands where he needs to go and where he needs to play the ball.
“This will be (Calix’s) first year playing for the school, but he has a bunch of experience at Fusion.”
Even though four freshmen could start, Clark does not want Davie to be a pushover. Pulling an upset or two would be a bonus. “Our biggest goal is to be competitive in the conference. We understand it’s the beginning of a rebuild and we will have a young team. We’re playing in a large and tough conference. But we want to be competitive and hopefully surprise quite a few teams about how we play and the players we bring to the table.”
• Clark is carrying 19 on varsity.
• As of Aug. 6, Davie did not have a junior varsity coach. That position will be filled soon.
• Clark has a high-profile assistant. Dave Marcincavage played at Catawba from 1988-92, all-conference and all-region at goalie. He served as a Catawba assistant from 2015-18. He became the head coach of the Forbush girls in 2019.
• The JV, which has 14 or 15 players, will likely take some lumps. “They’re going to be young,” Clark said. “It will be a team of freshmen with one or two sophomores or juniors. It’s a learning experience trying to run preseason workouts and school doesn’t start until the 26th. Vacations are going on. There are church retreats, mission trips. It’s pulling some kids away, so it’s really hard right now.”