By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Four years ago the soccer program came to life under the watchful eye of Kyle Selby.
The coach had the challenge of mixing Munford High School players who played under the Brighton Cardinal name with new players from the school. And Selby had to do it with a girls’ and boys’ team.
After four years, the Lady Cougars won the 2012 District 13-3A championship and came within one win of reaching Sub-State. Now Selby is ready for his Cougars to make that leap to champions.
“I would expect nothing less,” he said. “They have worked hard. This will be their fourth year and we’re pretty heavy with seven seniors and 10 juniors. When you’re with that number, you have a lot of experience.”
The senior class of Dalton Baker, Francisco Cervantes, Josh Delph, James Dillon, Chance Griner, Zack Kurtzman and Cody Perrigo are coming off their best season last year winning 8 games. In the program’s history Munford has reached Regionals once as the runner-up of District 13-3A.
“A lot of seniors have experience,” Selby said. “A lot of your juniors are your competitive players, the ones who play year around. They’re going to be the backbone of everything. Your seniors provide the stability, leadership and the knowledge on how a program runs. I have high expectations out of them. They’ve been here since day one.”
And it will be seniors like Perrigo leading the way on defense for Munford this year. And he will get some help from juniors like Troy Moyer.
“It’s always going to be defensively starting there with Troy Moyer,” Selby said. “He’s a solid defender. Then you have a senior in Cody Perrigo who’s going to be in a defensive position for me this year. He’s continuing to build himself.
“Of course you can’t forget your goalie in your defense Erik Furseth,” he added. “You’re sitting there with a 6-foot, 4 goalie. He can cover from post to post and lead a team from back there. He’s always been a backbone.”
There are several key pieces as well on offense. Selby said several players can score the ball this season.
“This year we’ve got a lot of team speed and ball skills,” he noted. “You’ve got kids like Zack Kurtzman who’s a senior. Definitely a finisher. Then we’ve got a young man who came back to us after spending two years in Cuba. He’s probably one of the fastest boys on the team in James Dillon.”
Midfielders Baker and Jaylen Hill are main dribblers for the Cougars and can also score the ball from anywhere on the field.
Selby said his Cougars are looking poised for a run at school history. But teams like Dyer County, Brighton and defending champs Jackson North Side will have a say.
For now the Lady Cougars have the soccer bragging rights on the campus. Selby said his guys will be motivated to join them as title holders.
“I’ve never gone into a season or a game thinking I’m going to lose a game,” he said. “Your goal is to win everything. Realisticly we played very well and had a chance in the districts. We had a shot against anybody we played last year. Last year we were more of individual type team. This year we’re more of a team. We’re going to be really able to surprise people. How we play as a team, my expectations is to give everybody a run for their money.
“We love to be able to do what the girls did this year,” Selby concluded. “They ran the district. The girls didn’t lose a single game in district. We would love to do the same thing with the boys.”