Raiders look to bounce back from 0-3 start

Nov. 17—Lamar's boys soccer team opened the season 0-3 following a 7-2 loss to Presbyterian Christian School at home on Thursday. Lamar coach Rusty Warden attributed the slow start to his team's youth and the fact that many of his players have been focused on playing football this fall.

"I thought there were times where we did some really good things," Warden said on the loss to PCS. "I thought that to play with as many young players as we have out there, I thought they did really well. It's still early in the season, so we're going to make those mistakes that we made tonight, but the thing is that we just learn from them and move forward."

Lamar is coming off a season in which the Raiders finished first in the Midsouth Association of Independent Schools' District 2-5A before they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by Delta Streets Academy. The Raiders suffered 1-3 losses to Leake Central and Brookhaven Academy earlier this month.

"I honestly expect that we have an opportunity to win every game that we play, so I honestly believe that we'll go and win a state championship," Warden said of his expectations for this season. "That's what I believe."

Lamar will need to mark some tallies in the win column come district play in order to make the playoffs again this season, but Warden said he expects his team will be better by the time the Raiders play district matches. He said some of his players have not touched a soccer ball since last season, but the technical and tactical issues they have suffered from early in the season should clear themselves up over time.

"Resiliency is something that you have to build," Warden said. "It takes experiences like this to build that resiliency. It's just a mindset, and it's just something that we as coaches just have to continue to develop in our players."

Contact Christian Knox on Twitter @TheChrisKnox