Aders expects good things from Raiders

Herald File Photo
Southridge’s Lucas Martinez, heading the ball during a 2019 game in Huntingburg, figures to be a major impact player and leader for the Raiders.

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Last fall was a bit of a mixed bag for the Southridge boys soccer team. It was the first season for coach Brandon Aders, and it took time for him to get comfortable with the Raiders and figure out how to maximize their skills and talents.

“It was new to me, and I was new to them,” said Aders, who finished 7-6 with the Raiders last season. They lost to Washington in the sectional opening round, 7-0. “They did okay, there’s talent there. Coming into this year, with some of the players coming back, they know who I am, and we can build from that.”

Aders is optimistic about the players who are returning, and thinks a bit of molding could turn Southridge into a serious threat. Seniors Lucas Martinez and Deng Akoon figure to be major impact players and leaders for the Raiders. Beyond those two standouts, Aders is waiting for other players to step up and show they can be reliable contributors during the season.

“It’s kind of hard to tell at this point,” he said. “It’s a young team, so we’ll see how it goes and who’s going to stand out.”

Aders is forecasting a more possession-based approach for the Raiders. He’s envisioning a team that’ll control the ball as it moves up the field while allowing its speedsters to create openings. The Raiders will focus on shooting with precision instead of overwhelming opponents with volume.

“It’s going to be more conservative and built from the back,” Aders said. “We’ll use that to our advantage and go from there.”

Building chemistry and trust is what will hold it all together for the Raiders when they begin their season. They will have their first scrimmage Aug. 13 at home against Northeast Dubois, and open their season Aug. 24 at Boonville. Aders wants his players to trust that their teammates will be in the right places on the field to drive offense or set the defense. Once that happens, the Raiders can run like a well-oiled machine.

“We need to support each other on the field,” he said. “Once they learn where they need to be, then it won’t be so hard for them to give that support. Things should be a lot easier.”

Aders said the Raiders will be challenged by the new squads that pack this year’s Pocket Athletic Conference, but he thinks the increase in competition will benefit the team in the long run. The Raiders are in good spirits and look forward to becoming the best version of themselves for the sectional tournament.

“They’re a positive group,” Aders said. “I think they’re going to do well this season. The schedule is totally changed, and they’re playing some harder teams and should continue to grow.”

 




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