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Seven seniors to lead Lady Lynx soccer
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

August 26. 2014 11:27AM
Assistant coach Barb Sperlich gets a little emotional when she talks about the 2013 Lady Lynx soccer program.

First, it’s her daughter Sam’s senior season.

Secondly, it’s the first season the sport will be played as a school-sanctioned sport.

Sperlich, a Brandon Area Soccer Association board member, was one of the driving forces that helped transition soccer from a club sport to a school-sanctioned sport this year.

“Some of it I did as the manager here, some of it I did as a BASA board member, and some as a soccer mom, so I guess I had three different hats on when I did it,” she said. “But I’ve got to give the school board a lot of credit, too. I know they did want to sanction it years ago, but with the budget, they just couldn’t.”

The efforts that Sperlich and the BASA reps did take to convert the
program to a school-sanctioned sport, hasn’t gone unnoticed by the athletes it’s benefitting.

“I just want to thank my mom, Barb Sperlich, she helped a lot,” recognizes daughter Sam. “It shows that soccer is more of a school sport – not just football, not just basketball – and that soccer is more to all of us.”

Third-year head coach Marlon Mollett pegs the sanctioning as “ground-breaking.”
Hampered with injuries throughout their 2013 season, Mollett said his varsity roster of 21 this season, has come into program stronger and well-conditioned. “We’re in better shape this year,” he said.

Seven seniors will guide the group of 21. The senior corps includes Paige Drenth, Haley Hoeke, Carley Kueter, Mykayla Palmer, Stephanie Podhradsky, Sam Sperlich and Lizzie Waller. And these girls believe they have what it takes to improve on last year’s 2-11-1 record.

“I think that since we have the same coach who’s really dedicated to the sport, that will help push us a lot harder,” Hoeke said. “He did that last year, but we need it even more so we can go to state.”

Nine juniors join the seven seniors on the roster. They are Grace Bender, Emma Bose, McKenzie Gloege, Allison Holm, Logan Mullet, Kaitlyn Nelson, Melanie Peltier, Kaelynn Spanton and Jessa Ziegeldorf.

A trio of underclassmen will staff the goal this year. Sophomore Emily Thompson and freshmen Kianna Thelen and Malory Lacey are being groomed for the job.

“We’re not only trying to groom for now, but for the future,” Mollett said.

Two other sophomores – Kate Forster and Morgan TeKrony – complete the varsity lineup.

Like the Lynx boys, the Brandon Valley girls also want to be playing far into the post-season. But to achieve that, Coach Mollett says “takes a lot of dedication, a lot of moving off the ball and a lot of scoring. We did have our opportunities last year, but we need to fill it in with conditioning and everything.”

Mollett ranks all four Sioux Falls teams, the two Rapid City programs, Pierre and Brookings among Class AA’s best this season.

Podhradsky, one of the team’s seven seniors, said she hopes the Lady Lynx will finish the season with a “winning record to show our improvement and how hard we’ve worked over the summer.”

“We’re wishing for a lot of improvement,” adds Sam Sperlich. “We have a lot of new players, a lot of new freshmen so we’re trying to get them better.”
Aug. 19 Brookings
Aug. 23 at Garretson
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

Seven seniors are listed on this year's Lady Lynx varsity soccer roster. They are, from left: Stephanie Podradsky, Carley Kueter, Paige Drenth, Haley Hoeke, Sam Sperlich and Mykayla Palmer. Not pictured is Lizzie Waller. Photo by Jill Meier

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