Both of East Central College’s fall sports teams are planning alumni matches this weekend.
The ECC soccer team will host its alumni match Friday at 6 p.m. on the game field.
The ECC volleyball team will host an alumnae match Saturday at 10 a.m.
Kean Barclay’s soccer Falcons have been working hard to prepare for the start of the season.
“Preseason has been going wonderful and the boys are really starting to build some chemistry,” Barclay said.
Through practice, Barclay said a number of freshmen have made an impact so far.
“Freshman David Moore (Southern Boone), without a doubt has shown he’ll have a huge impact in the team,” Barclay said. “His versatility gives us a chance to move him around, and he’s got the ability to succeed at a number of different positions.”
Area products have impressed as well.
“Local freshman Patrick Moore (Washington) also has proven himself to be a great weapon in the attack,” Barclay said. “His speed and aggression will be obvious from the start. Another great new face is Isai Beltran (Springdale, Ark.) who really will be helping to push and challenge Aaron Kelly (Ireland) as they compete for the starting goalkeeper spot.”
Returning players have made an impact as well.
“Ernesto Miranda (Miami) has come in with the right attitude and we plan on seeing a lot of great performances from him,” Barclay said.
Barclay’s team will take on former Falcons and Rebels in a match starting at 6 p.m. Participating alumni are asked to contact their former teammates about either participating or watching the match.
Two players Barclay said are returning for the match are Dane Arand and Dillon Huber.
Alumni who choose to play will be asked to sign a waiver and wear plain white T-shirts. Pennies will be supplied to the alumni side.
Water and soda will be available for the alumni players following the match. Athletic Director Jay Mehrhoff wants to remind alumni that no alcohol is allowed on campus.
The volleyball Falcons are planning on holding a scrimmage against an alumnae squad starting at 10 a.m. Saturday in the ECC Field House.
It will be the first match on the new resurfaced floor. Work was completed on the floor during the past couple of weeks.
Head Coach Lisa Mathes-Peters indicates six to eight alumnae have expressed willingness to participate in the event.
Confirmed alumnae include All-Americans Erica LaBoube and Kasey Kirchhofer along with Kari (Blankenship) Nolting, Nicole Mannino, Lauren Baumstark and Megan (Santhuff) Elsenrath, according to Mathes-Peters.
With 14 freshmen on the team, competition for playing time has been fierce so far.
“It will be good for the girls to see how much faster this level will be at the scrimmage on Saturday,” Mathes-Peters said. “It will allow them to realize how much they need to pick it up, and I am looking forward to see who steps up as a leader whether it is on offense or defense. Our setters are working very hard to learn their hitters and do an excellent job at putting forth 100 percent effort on getting to every ball.”
The team has selected its captains and they are Sadie Pafford (Bowling Green), Sarah Stepp (Oakville) and Ali Wootten (Bowling Green).
As far as position battles go, Pafford and Jacy Lashly (Eminence) have stepped up at middle hitter.
Megan Manis (Winona) and Haley Zenner (Dubuque, Iowa) earned praise for their passing ability. Those two, and Elizabeth Carino (Windsor) have been fighting for the libero position.
“There is a good three-way competition between Zenner, Carino and Manis for the libero spot and as of now I have not decided what position we will run it from,” Mathes-Peters said.
The hitting positions have drawn a lot of competition as well.
“Our outside/right side battle is pretty tight as well but I expect to see Amanda Reetz (West Delaware, Manchester, Iowa), Marisa Patton (Summersville) and Whitney Froman (Scott City) to be a part of our offense, but in what positions has yet to be decided. We have a few other hitters who will contribute, but they have been out due to injuries this week.”
The interesting fact of the week concerns Wootten. Besides setting, she also has some journalism in her background. She has written articles for the Bowling Green Times.