Kick start

DEVOLA – Jeff Price may be the head coach of the Marietta High girls soccer team, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get in on the action every now and then.

During the team’s practice Thursday evening at the Devola Soccer Complex, Price participated with his players in an intrasquad scrimmage, stopping from time to time to offer pointers and let his inner-coach out.

“I need to get in shape,” Price joked following the practice.

While the veteran Lady Tigers coach may have been winded following the team’s second practice of the day, his players appeared to be in mid-season as far as conditioning is concerned.

“Fitness-wise, we’re at a good point,” Price said.

“A lot of the girls came in well-conditioned and that’s a big thing because if you’re not in condition and then you try to go play it puts additional types of stress on your body. I’m pleased with their conditioning at this point.”

Prior to the scrimmage Thursday, Marietta worked on other drills to try and stay sharp in every area. The defense worked on communication and teamwork, while other players worked on ball handling and technical skills before going into the scrimmage.

“We’ve been pretty much scrimmaging every night,” Price said. “Of course, the game is the best teacher. You can go over things and kind of say ‘Okay, this worked, this didn’t.'”

Coming off a 2013 season that yielded lackluster results, the 2014 Marietta squad is anxious for Aug. 16 to roll around when it will host Warren in a season-opening match. Price said the Tigers still have some things to iron before kicking off the regular year.

“They’re progressing in their play,” Price said. “We’re starting to combine passes and space ourselves better. Truthfully, in the early season scrimmage we had, it did not show a lot of that.”

MHS will compete at Athens Saturday where it will play in three 30-minute scrimmages against Athens, Fairfield Union and Jackson. That should give the Tigers a good final test going into the season.

Price said he is expecting the midfield to be the strength of the team, led by Mo Robinson and Rebeka Haught.

He also mentioned that the defense is getting better every day.

Overall, the Tigers are led by a big senior class and have some experienced underclassmen as well. Price and his girls are hoping that translates to success on the pitch come game-time.