Alex Rhinehart takes over the Wilmington High School girls soccer program from long-time coach Kerry Lewis.
Also gone from last year’s 8-5-3 team is SBAAC American Division player of the year Katlyn Jamiel, who graduated is now playing at Ohio Dominican University.
Wilmington was third in the division but just one win away from a conference championship.
New Richmond was 7-1-2 while Batavia was 6-1-3. Wilmington came in next at 6-2-2.
“There is always a drive to improve and beat out those teams this year,” Rhinehart said.
Rhinehart will be assisted by Haley Brausch and Morgan Combs.
The top returning players for the Lady Hurricane are Autumn Housh, Sophie Burt, Jenna Victor and Karlie Morgan, Rhinehart said.
“Karlie played well in goal last year and is looking to continue her quality play (in 2018),” the coach said.
Housh was first team All-SBAAC last year while Burt was second team and Victor was given honorable mention.
There are approximately eight returning starters for WHS. Rhinehart said Jasmine Jamiel, a junior, has decided not to return in order to focus on basketball.
Several newcomers had a chance to contribute at the varsity level but are out for the season because of injuries, the coach said.
“But we are looking forward to seeing (other) young players grab the opportunity to become key contributors,” he added.
Rhinehart said the players are adapting to new coaching and new soccer philosophies.
“I am encouraged by the first couple of days with the team,” he said. “The team is adapting to a new style of play and really embracing it. We are looking to play a disciplined style of soccer. We are really stressing mental toughness. When we get tired it can be easy to lose that discipline, so we have to be mentally tough to maintain attention to details.
“I hope people see the results of the hard work this preseason when they come see us play.”