WEST LAFAYETTE -- Judd Bone will be entering his first season as head coach of the Ridgewood High girls' soccer team, although last year's coach, Casey Claxon, will still be a major part of the team as an assistant.
"I am fortunate to keep Casey as an assistant coach and he will help me in my first year." Bone said. Keith Matz will also be an assistant coach for RHS.
Other changes that the Generals have to deal with will be the loss of nine seniors, including seven starters. Over the last two years, Ridgewood has lost nearly 20 runners to graduation.
"We are rebuilding this year," said Bone, "but we will have the help of a couple seniors coming back that will be vital to stepping up and leading our younger group."
They will also be a more offensive-minded team, which is a switch from a year ago when they took a more defensive-minded approach due to losing so many seniors the year before.
"We also have embedded a new passing game and now its just a matter of adjusting it so that it fits our athletes." Bone explained.
Another key loss this year will be Coach Bone's daughter, Sydney Bone, who is a senior but will be taking over statistician duties due to knee surgery. She will also be considered a major leader but will have to do it from the sideline.
Returning letterwinner Allyssa Grove is a junior defender that should have a huge season for the Lady Generals.
"There are a lot of leadership qualities from Allyssa," Bone said. "She is an animal on the field and she is fearless."
Grove will be joined by fellow returning letterwinners Kristin Milligan, who is a senior defender, and senior midfielder Courtney Elliott.
Forward Makaya Giles will be the third senior who will be looking to help the team improve.
Juniors who are all be returning letterwinners are midfielders Emily Kobel, Megan Cox and Abby Powers; defenders Mallory Simmons and Colleen Scwartz; and forward Breann Asbury.
The two sophomores are returning letterwinner and goalkeeper Karrie Bluck along with midfielder Bree Lavigne.
The four incoming freshmen include forwards Hope Asbury and Emily Bookless; midfielder Alex Incarnato; and midfielder/goalkeeper Rachael Simpson.
"I believe that our freshmen can work themselves into starting spots," Bone said. "They are that good."
The RHS coach can already see improvement in his players this summer and says that they are putting in the work.
"We have a returning core with a lot of letterwinners coming back," he noted, "I don't think that leadership will be an issue."
The team's focus will be putting together a winning season and putting last season behind them. They also want to improve every day and stay healthy.