INAUGURAL SEASON OF SANCTIONED SOCCER
Lynx boys aim for return to state tournament
August 26. 2014 11:24AM
That seems to be the single word to sum up what’s unfolding in the Lynx boy’s soccer program this season.
Now a sanctioned school sport in South Dakota, Brandon Valley returns to the soccer field this season with a plethora of seniors on its roster – 10 in all – who a hunger to get back to the Class AA State Tournament. They Lynx earned a berth to the state show in 2013 after a six-year drought.
“We want to get back there pretty bad and hopefully finish better than seventh this year,” said 2013 All-State senior Tyler Limmer. “And being sanctioned, I feel like we’re more respected now and we get all the perks that the other teams get.”
And that seems to be the sentiment amongst the Lynx players during their pre-season practice sessions last week.
“I think we’ll do pretty good,” says senior Brock Hanson. “We have a lot of experience on this team, but it depends on how we play together.”
Fourth-year head coach Chris Limmer will look to his senior corps to be leaders both on and off the field, after graduating five players from 2013. “I think the strength of the varsity is we didn’t lose a ton of players from last year. A lot (of them) played spring and summer competitively, and having a lot of seniors helps. But everyone’s got a chance, we even have some freshmen that may get some varsity playing time,” he said.
Limmer is also optimistic with the team’s experienced goal-keeping crew, led by senior Caleb Van Hemert and junior Dylan Thies. “We have a lot of older goalkeepers and are developing some younger ones,” Limmer said.
The BV coach picks the Lincoln Patriots, last year’s defending state champs, and Sioux Falls Roosevelt, as two of Class AA’s best. Both have several key players returning.
“We’re going to play Lincoln early in the season, so that will be a good challenge for us,” Limmer said.
Class AA features 17 teams this season, and the top eight will battle it out in the playoffs, similar to the football playoffs (quarterfinals, semifinals and finals).
“I think it’s better than playing three games in three days,” Limmer said. “Soccer’s a sport, and especially our squad, we have a lot of players but not a whole lot of depth with experience on the varsity side. You depend on a lot of players to play almost the whole game if not the whole game, so it’s very tough to do that day after day, especially at the end of the season.”
The team’s goal is go get back to the quarterfinal game, Limmer said.
“And it’s always a goal to be in the top four,” he said. “I think we can hit that top eight, but we’ll see how it goes.”
The Lynx will also play for dual conference titles, the ESD and Metro.
Coach Limmer said he’s already seeing the rewards as a school-sanctioned sport.
“I think there’s going to be some benefits to it,” he said, mentioning traveling together as a team on a bus, which helps to build team chemistry en route to the competitions, help from athletic trainer Chad Urban, better equipment, and gives the program more validity.
“It’s kind of exciting because the whole state now is sanctioned,” he said. “It’s like everybody jumped on board. … We did not necessarily lead the pack, but we were one of the first … and I think that sent a message to some of the bigger schools, especially those in the ESD. And that should be really good for the program and the sport going forward.”
Adds senior Isaac Sissoko, “We’re pretty pumped about it.”
2014 BOYS SOCCER SCHEDULE
Aug. 19 Brookings
Aug. 26 S.F. Lincoln
Aug. 29 at Pierre
Sept. 2 S.F. Washington
Sept. 4 at O’Gorman
Sept. 6 at S.F. Christian
Sept. 9 at Huron
Sept. 12 at Mitchell
Sept. 16 Yankton
Sept. 18 at Watertown
Sept. 20 at Roosevelt
Sept. 23 Harrisburg
Sept. 27 Aberdeen Central
Sept. 30 Playoff game
Oct. 4 Playoff game
Oct. 10-11 Class AA State Tourney at Mitchell