For the first time, Kenyon-Wanamingo is part of a varsity soccer program.
K-W teams with host school Triton, as well as Hayfield for soccer in a co-op that begin in 2016 at the JV level. The T/K-W/H trio currently features a junior varsity and varsity boys team and a JV girls team.
Head coach Patrick Floryance takes over as boys and girls head coach for Rick Barnhill.
“For us, success is based on the experience that the kids have,” Floryance, who teaches at Triton, said. “I want it to be a year having a good time playing with each other. As far as wins and losses, I want to be competitive in the HVL, and especially on varsity. They have potential to get some good ones. Knowing we are a new program, we’ll take it as we can get it.”
The varsity boys feature K-W players junior midfielder Michael Pliscott and freshman defender Louis Breimhurst.
The JV girls feature K-W players Aisha Ramirez, Taya Veal, Haylie Budahn and Carrie Doehling.
The girls team features just 13 players. Eleven play at a time at the high school level.
The varsity boys suit up 18 with some also playing on JV.
Floryance hopes to see numbers rise to bolster both programs. The girls especially will need to get more out if they are to rise to field a varsity squad.
The boys side is a little further along development wise.
“We’ve got a lot of good players who’ve been playing for a while but also some new guys,” Floryance said. “We have some good individual talent and now we’re putting it together as a team.”
In the early going, T/K-W/H lost at Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa and at home vs. Tri-City United. It tied 1-1 vs. Cannon Falls.
The team plays a light schedule of 10 regular season games. It’s in Section 1A, which features 19 teams. Austin, which was ranked No. 9 in the first coaches association poll, is the favorite to return to state out of the section.