Lawrence boys soccer making changes this offseason under new coach

photo by: Shane Jackson

Lawrence High's Jamari Smith attempts to get past Colin Sandefur during a summer workout on Wednesday at LHS on June 23, 2021.

Lawrence High’s boys soccer team will look like a brand new squad when the 2021 campaign begins this fall.

The Lions have a new coach in Brandon Daley, who took over the program this offseason after spending eight years as the junior varsity coach. They will have a new scheme. And LHS will have to replace several seniors from last year’s squad that made it the regional championship.

But all those changes might be the very thing that helps push Lawrence over the top.

“I think we had a really good year last year (and) we’ve had some good playoff wins,” Daley said after a summer workout in late June. “I think they know what it takes to win … I think it’s kind of putting that final piece together.”

Daley started setting expectations for what he wants his program to be when workouts began this summer.

Workouts take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday. LHS will be on the soccer field for two hours in the morning before lifting weights in the gym. Daley leads the upperclassmen for two days, but spends time with the younger players one day in an attempt to get the entire program on the same page.

In addition, Daley challenges his seniors to lead freshmen during workouts in the weight room to establish a certain culture.

“It’s when those seniors can start to buy in, that kind of lays that foundation so that it’s a player’s program and I’m happy to facilitate,” Daley said. “But I think, when there’s a full buy-in there and that teamwork there, that’s a big thing.”

The players have certainly taken notice.

“Straight from the get go, Coach Daley has implied that this is going to be something different,” senior goalkeeper Grant Glasgow said. “This will be a new culture, we are totally changing it around. It’s always been high intensity every single day.”

Many of this year’s seniors were on the junior varsity squad that had a successful season in 2019 under Daley. During that season, the Lions went 13-1-1 at the junior varsity level and were firing on all cylinders.

But things will look different on the field at the varsity level this fall. The Lions plan to build out the back, because that unit is the strength of their team. Schematically, they want to rely more on possessing the ball and waiting for their opportunity to strike.

“Most of the players that we have on our roster, it’s full of very technical players,” senior Levi Hinson said. “Players that can play with the ball at their feet and pick out those good passes. So I think that’s why that’s the best style of play for us to play with.”

Lawrence has the players to fit this new scheme. Junior Cale Scott is going to create a lot of scoring opportunities for LHS. Colin Sandefur, who logged quality minutes at the varsity level as a freshman last year, is both a physical and smart player on the field.

Glasgow will be key to the team’s success on the defensive end as the goalkeeper. He is also a promising kicker on the football team. Senior Josh Anderson is returning varsity player for the Lions as well.

“I have confidence that we’ll have a pretty good season,” Hinson said. “Whether we get the results or not, I’m sure that we’ll still be playing at a very high level and beautiful style of play every time that we take the field.”

Regardless of how the 2021 campaign goes, though, the seniors are pleased to end their high school careers with Daley at the helm during their last season.

“Probably no better way to go out,” Hinson said. “I’m just very pleased that Coach Daley is the head coach. He’s just gonna come in and hopefully restart a whole new program and get something new going.”


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