The wonderful thing about preseason soccer as a coach is the ability to experiment.
In two scrimmages against Cape Henlopen and Indian River — two strong Delaware soccer clubs — head coach Jamie Greenwood tinkered with his players and found some nice surprises.
Especially when Chris Leitgeb launched a shot (or maybe a cross) in the top corner from 40 yards out against Indian River.
The Seahawks will take that every time.
Decatur was 6-5 last season with a win in the playoffs against Northeast, but fell in the next round to Huntingtown.
Three of the five losses were to Bayside South contenders (Pocomoke, Parkside and James M. Bennett). If the Seahawks want to improve, that’s their focus, and scrimmaging Cape and IR will help.
As Greenwood said, kids are still earning their positions.
“I think we’re getting there,” he said. “I still don’t have a solid starting 11. Trying to work people out, try people in different positions, and I’ve discovered some kids that have really flourished at positions.”
• Alton Walker is a junior captain who has been on varsity since freshman year. He’s a center midfielder who is solid on both sides of the ball, a hard worker, and has great field vision going forward to produce attack.
• Luppe Garcia is a senior forward and is Walker’s target man. Garcia led the Seahawks in goals last season.
“He brings a lot of great touch,” Greenwood said. “He works off the ball, and he’s a good individual (skills player).”
• Chris Leitgeb, will play alongside Walker. He carries many of the same traits, and Greenwood is expecting them to be a duo in midfield, making the Seahawks more of a finesse team.
Toughest player to replace
• Chris Poole was Decatur’s utility player last season. No matter what Greenwood asked, Poole would produce.
“Regardless where he was, I mean, he would always go out and do whatever I asked,” Greenwood said. “He scored four goals against Queen Anne’s and single-handedly put the team on his back and won it.”
Newcomer to watch
• Wyatt Church is a junior forward who is flat out fast, Greenwood said. He works hard, wants the ball and listens, meaning he could be a threat to aid Garcia going forward.
A strong start against Snow Hill, Queen Anne’s and Mardela is key. Two home wins make traveling to Crisfield, and then Easton, a little easier.
The Seahawks have time to prepare for a loaded, down-the-stretch schedule. They play Bennett and Pocomoke in October.
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