Oxford soccer kicks off new season with revamped squads


Aidan Patel, sports editor

The Oxford soccer teams had an early finish to last year’s seasons as the boys team exited early and the girls team ended their playoff run with a second round loss to Madison Central on penalty kicks. The Chargers will look to bounce back and make a run to their respective state championship games.

Head Coach Hunter Crane gave his thoughts on last year’s season, which included a lot of promising talent for the future although the season ended short of the ultimate goal for both teams.

“Last year’s season was tough for both squads. The girls squad had a lot of injuries that they had to overcome. They kind of battled all season long and I thought we got hot and had an opportunity to make it far in the playoffs. It was good to see them kind of progress and fight through some of that stuff last year,” Crane said. “I think the boys squad had a lot of really, really good talent individually, but trying to put all that together was probably their biggest downfall last year.”

Crane praised how well the girls team has transitioned over the offseason and have been preparing for the start of the upcoming season.

“I’ve been very pleased with where the girls are at right now. They are replacing a lot of seniors off last year’s team,” Crane said. “We are gonna rely on a lot of young kids to come in and play major roles. They’ve done a really, really good job of kind of going ahead and building that unit together.”

Crane also admired how well the boys team adjusted over the offseason and have been building team chemistry that was lacking last season.

“The boys’ team took off after the season was over for them and they went right back to work.

This year, I think we’ve got a lot of personalities that really gel together,” Crane said. “I think the biggest thing for them was just trying to build that team chemistry and they were able to do a lot of that early. All summer they worked really hard on that and I am looking forward to it.”

The Chargers will be led by senior captains Allie Reed and Parker Martin on the girls team and the boys team will be led by senior captains John Clark Love, Connor Sweeney and Elijah Belk.

Girls senior captain Allie Reed is confident about this season, although there are new additions on the team.

“We have two new center backs and we have a new holding. I think they’re doing great. I think they all work pretty well together,” Reed said. “They are hard workers and communication is key for our team this year.”

Reed also praised how well the team has adjusted from losing last year’s senior class.

“We have a lot of middle schoolers that have moved up this year,” Reed said. “I feel like the middle schoolers look up to the older players better and some of the underclassmen are starting to bond with the upperclassmen more.”

Boys senior captain John Clark Love talked about how well the team has bonded from last season to this upcoming season.

“I think we are looking really good. We have got a better attitude this year. This year, everyone is talking within the whole team,” Love said. “We all get to make decisions and even though I am a captain, the captains are not the only ones that are making decisions for the team.”

Coach Crane is looking forward to the new opportunities for this season.

“Being able to finish games and carry that momentum throughout the year is something that we are really gonna work on,” Crane said. “Seeing our group going out and playing well together and continuing to build as a team and as a group is one of our major goals. I am eager to see what this season holds.”