Logan Darnell/Coal Valley News - Scott High's Baylee Dunlap boots a penalty kick for the Skyhawks.


For the Coal Valley News

MADISON - Seven schools joined the Scott High Lady Skyhawks soccer team at the school's first Soccer-Rama event as part of their three-week-long summer conditioning.

Chapmanville Regional, Lincoln County, Nitro, Poca, Point Pleasant, Sheldon Clark and South Charleston High Schools took turns playing 20-minute scrimmages at Scott High.

This followed a similar day of play at Trace Fork the week prior. The friendlies were open to college women's team representatives and coaches.

Coach Del Kimbler, the main organizer behind the Soccer-Rama, aimed to give Scott High's squad a chance to experience play against a variety of teams. Returning players were given the opportunity to get back on the field and back into the game, while newcomers to the Lady Hawks were able to be tested in different roles.

"It gives them the opportunity to meet each other," says coach Kimbler, "to get on the field with the other girls. We try to get somewhere around 15 scrimmages during [the conditioning]."

Other schools were more than pleased to be given the same opportunity, especially as the teams involved are slated to play one another over the 2019 season.

Kimbler noted that the conditioning has built teamwork well among Scott's players.

"We're young, but we actually play really well as a team," Kimbler said.

The Lady Skyhawks, who have lost 10 starting seniors over the previous two years, have one starting senior this season. The school's starting XI will mostly be made up of new girls.

The 2018 front three lost to graduation were responsible for between 70 to 75 goals between them. With such large holes to fill, the practices let the current team find ways to adapt to the changes coming in the fall.

The Cardinal Conference possesses a reputation as a tough one in which to compete. Most of the present schools match the size of Scott, but South Charleston stands out as the only AAA team at Soccer-Rama.

South Charleston, who hasa recent history of success on the field, will set an example for the Lady Hawks, who are slated to be facing more AAA teams than in prior seasons.

Kimbler says that representatives from Glenville State, Concord and West Virginia State attended the event. More invitations to colleges will be sent out for Scott's tri-matches, giving schools the opening to scout athletes for future consideration when recruiting for colleges.

Though the school year is still some time away, the summer conditioning Kimbler and the rest of the coaching staff have organized will be important for a young Scott team set to play a challenging season.

The team has steadily gained more traction, which has opened up the chance for the team to try out different methods of preparing the girls. Soccer-Rama is only the latest means of training a Scott High team shooting high for the future