The rebuilding process should commence for the Elizabeth boys soccer team this season as improvement of the program's youth will be the focus of the fall.
The Cardinals, coached by Trevor Griffin, struggled last season, finishing with a 4-10 record. Yet, the hopes are high for vast improvements as the Cardinals ready for the 2014 campaign.
“I'm excited,” Griffin said. “We've got a tough schedule with a couple of 5A teams on (it). I think as a team we are going to step up to the challenges. We had five seniors last year, but we have an excellent group of freshmen.
“We will be playing about three games a week and that makes for a tough schedule,” Griffin said. “I think we have a good shot at conference and the state playoffs are a definite goal. We had Arvada join the Colorado Seven league year, so now we have eight (teams).”
Heading up the roster for Elizabeth, according to Griffin, will be the quartet of Logan Blakeslee, Travis Eddy, Brad George and Travis Knight. Blakeslee played center midfield last season, Eddy was also in the midfield, George played mainly at forward and Knight was in goal.
“Logan was our captain last year and he is such a great leader,” Griffin said. “We're looking for him to be strong in the midfield. But this is a youngster who can go anywhere on the field. Travis (Eddy) is just another good kid on the team. He is a vocal leader and just excited to go forward in his endeavors.
“Brad has a lot of ability to score goals for us and we will be looking forward to his leadership on the field. Travis Knight is strong in goal and has made a lot of great saves for us. He just wants us to keep our game focused up front as well. He is very improved and a little more vocal for us. He's just a type who can help lead the defense with his play.”
All four of those players feel the Cardinals are going to improve on last season's record.
“I think we're going to be pretty good,” Knight said. “We've had a good summer and practice. I plan to improve my game and get the saves when we need them. I want us to have shutout games and I've got to be ready to go to help. The key for me is to improve on my diving going after the balls and to just make the big saves when we need them the most.”
Blakeslee is high on the incoming freshmen talent.
“I'm excited and I think we do have a lot of new talent with our freshmen that are ready to move up and help us,” Blakeslee said. “This year we have a good shot for our team to excel and I think we're going to have a decent season. I was a captain last year and I want to work hard to keep as many guys on the team as I can. I just want to make it fun and to get all of us to play up to our abilities.”
“I'm going into my senior season with a lot of high hopes,” Eddy echoed. “I think we have the potential to win a lot of games. The key is fitness and being consistent in our physical play. We have a lot of freshmen who love to play the game and that's certainly going to help.”
Added George, “I think we're going to have a good season and I do think that we have a lot of talent. The key is to work hard on our skills and fitness. My key is to score. I had five goals last year and I'm certainly looking forward to improvement. I also want to create a lot of opportunities for my teammates and let them score the goals, too.”