For many coaches in their second season, the goal is to improve on the results of the year prior.
For Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors head coach Scott Reitnour, it’s something much different.
“We want to play perfect football,” he said.
Reitnour and the King’s Warriors will get their chance to show what a perfect club can do when they welcome the West Virginia Chaos into the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex at 7 p.m. today in the first game of the 2013 Coal Cup Clash.
“We want to compete against ourselves every time we step on the pitch,” Reitnour said. “If we finish third place in the league, we’re not going to be satisfied. If we finish second place in the league, we’re not going to be satisfied. I guess the road to amazing is what we’re after.”
The road to amazing for the King’s Warriors will be looking to improve on last season’s 4-10-2 record.
“I think for this group the goal is to make the playoffs,” he added. “I think we certainly have the potential to do that.”
Potential is the name of the game for the young King’s Warriors. Unlike many teams playing in the PDL, no one on their squad is more than two years removed from college.
“We’re a young team,” player-assistant coach Harry Sherwood said. “We’re a bit inexperienced, but we’re young, ready to learn and are very enthusiastic.”
Sherwood, who moves into a player-coach role for the 2013 season, will be called on to help anchor the defense, along with returning player Carter Robbins. Robbins will be moving to his natural position of central defender after playing a season as a holding midfielder for the King’s Warriors.
“Carter and Harry will be a centerback tandem for us,” Reitnour said. “Carter is back at his true position, a role he played for Messiah College that won a national championship this year.”
Robbins and Sherwood will be joined in the backfield by a platoon of players, including Larry Mahon and Stephen Millage.
Rounding out the defense will be outside backs Jorge Gonzalez, Matt Rose and Jhon Lopez.
“They have a lot of speed and will be able to get forward for us,” Reitnour said.
The midfield will welcome in newcomers Miguel Teos of Wayland Baptist University and Fabrico Baranoski, who previously played for the Ottawa Fury.
“Teos was offered a contract by the Carolina Railhawks but he wanted to finish his degree,” Reitnour said. “He may start for us, he may come off the bench for us, but he is able to unlock people in tight spaces. He’s a creative attacking player.”
Joining the two newcomers in midfield will be Josh Gonzales and Mikey Robinson.
“The real key for us is to keep everyone on board,” Reitnour said. “Keep them on board, but not happy. There’s going to be times where you’re not going to be happy out there. It’s not about you. It’s about our team.”
To establish the beautiful attacking style Reitnour hopes to display, he’ll rely on a host of forwards, including 2011 NAIA All-American Billy Forbes.
Forbes describes his style of play as “quick” and patterned after the play of international star Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He’s very fast,” Reitnour said. “He’s very athletic. I think he’s going to have a positive impact.”
Joining Forbes is Joe Jackson, a big, strong beast of a guy according to Reitnour, who can finish fast, and John Grant, who joined the team to gain some more seasoning.
“He’s a grad student at Furman and attended a Charlotte Eagles tryout (an affiliate of the King’s Warriors at the next level),” Reitnour said. “They referred him to us and we looked at him and loved him. He’s creative. He’s going to score some goals.”
Veteran Erik Mozzo will return to the team as the goalkeeper, where he’ll be joined by newcomer from UNC-Greensboro Stephen Moffitt.
“I’m really excited, I feel like we laid a solid foundation as a community,” Mozzo said. “It’s just about the future. Our goal is to maintain a high level of soccer while becoming the best men we possibly can. It’s about perfection. That’s what the road to amazing is all about. Perfection.”
The King’s Warriors and Chaos will begin play at 7 p.m. on Carter Field. Single-game tickets are priced at $8 for adults, $5 for students 16 and under and $5 for senior citizens 60 and over. Adult tickets purchased at least one day in advance will be discounted to $5.
Season tickets are available for the seven regular season home games and a special friendly with the Charlotte Eagles for $40.
For more information, visit www.wvkingswarriors.org or call 304-466-9080.
— E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.