It usually takes a strong senior class in order to have a successful season.
The Starkville Academy boys soccer team has found that to be true this year.
A total of nine seniors can be found on the Volunteer roster this season and they have led the team to a 10-win season and a spot in the upcoming Class AAA playoffs.
Starkville Academy soccer coach Robert Gardner is proud of the contributions of Matthew Christiansen, Campbell Dobbs, Colby Henderson, Matt Jones, Austin Miles, Drew Pellum, Davis Pigg, Colby Runnels and Zach Slaughter this season.
"Honestly, it makes all the difference in the world," Gardner said. "When I looked at them as a group in our first meeting, I saw how deep we were. The difference is when you can basically field an entire team with seniors, you'll never have a group more experienced group than that. You just hope you have the right class and the right chemistry to go together with that, but the reality is they've put together something that would work.
"They all bring different qualities to the team. They've provided great chemistry and great leadership as well."
It has worked with the Vols so far this season.
Going into today's final regular season home match with Parklane Academy at 4 p.m., Starkville Academy has records of 11-2-1 and 8-1 in Class AAA, Division 2.
Gardner said the grind of a season is always difficult, but a solid group of seniors can help take some pressure off the coach.
"It's not easy to coach a team, but they made my job a lot less stressful," Gardner said.
Starkville Academy 4,
Hillcrest Christian 0
JACKSON – The Vols took care of business on the road Thursday afternoon against the Jackson-based school.
Along with goals by seniors Runnels, Pellum and Jones, Starkville Academy also benefitted from a Hillcrest on goal.