Golden Eagles looking for continued growth in Kenworthy’s second year

Alex Kenworthy’s first season at the helm was full of both ups and down, but all in all, the Oak Hill Golden Eagles put together another solid campaign in 2019, finishing with six wins and showcasing a plethora of growth by end of the season. 

While the Golden Eagles did lose several key leaders, they return both of their top scorers and will add several talented freshmen to the fold in 2020, giving them a chance to build on their successes from a year ago. 

“We are going to stick with the basics,” Kenworthy said. “I am going to push them hard at practice. I’ve been pushing them hard all summer. We are going to be ready to go.”

As was the case with all schools in the Grant County area, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Oak Hill to make several adjustments to their offseason plan. Everything shut down in March, and subsequently, players were barred from their normal summer soccer routines, and were unable to get together until the beginning of July. 

In the months preceding, Kenworthy communicated with his team via Remind, keeping in touch with them throughout the offseason, providing drills to work on, and working to keep spirits high. 

And with the return of team activities at the beginning of July, Kenworthy is pleased with how his team has progressed. The Golden Eagles have mostly worked on conditioning and light drills, particularly in the shooting department. 

“I’ve been really excited with what I’ve seen so far with the skill level,” Kenworthy said. “I think a lot of the girls have put in the work, and that’s great. Overall, I am happy as a lark right now.” 

The Golden Eagles did lose several key seniors from last year to graduation, including Abby Strange, Sarah Tucci, and Lauren Belcher, and with the season less than a month away, Kenworthy has several positions.

At this juncture, Kenworthy has not set any lineups, and is waiting for a return to scrimmaging to find the best combinations.  

Where the Golden Eagles did retain top players, however, was up front with Carlee Biddle and Tegan Phillips. Oak Hill’s senior duo combined for 33 goals a season ago, and Kenworthy is looking for the same, if not, production out of them this coming fall. 

“I’m expecting great things,” Kenworthy said. “They know my expectations, and always have. I let them know early on, and it’s not a surprise to them. They know what they are capable of. They know how they lead, and I fully believe they will have a very successful season.” 

Furthermore, Gretchen Powell, Cadence Pierce, and Kayla Babbitt, a trio of talented freshmen, will look to crack the starting lineup and make an immediate impact. 

“I’m really quite excited because I’ve got a few young freshmen coming in, and I’ve also got some other upperclassmen that we have not seen before,” Kenworthy said. “I can’t wait to see what kind of skill level they bring.” 

Oak Hill will begin their season on Tuesday, August 18 against Eastbrook. 

“Every time they are on the field, I want them to  give 100 percent and do the best they can do,” Kenworthy said. “If they work as hard as they can at practice and at games, we will win some games. I have high expectations for us – I just hope they have the same expectations for themselves.”

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