Kicking into gear: Starkville Academy prepares for girls soccer season

Starkville Academy soccer coach Matthew Tremblay

Staff Writer

Lake Little takes her role as a senior on the Starkville Academy girls soccer team seriously.

She has experienced the Class III State championship match for two-straight seasons and doesn’t want that to be any different this year.

Practice started last week for the Lady Volunteers and so far Little likes what she sees.

“I think we have a lot of potential,” Little said. “If we work hard like I know we will, I think we can not only make the state championship, but win. I look forward to being a senior and hopefully be a leader and role model for the young girls.”

Starkville Academy won the state championship two years ago at Hartfield Academy, but lost in the title game that it hosted in 2017 against Park Place Academy.

Little has already enjoyed success as a Lady Vol and is anxious for more.

“It was an amazing experience and really an opportunity I will never forget,” Little said of being able to participate in state championship matches. “I hope to make it happen again in my senior year and get gold.”

If Starkville Academy is to make it to state for the third time in as many seasons, it will have to do it with its third coach in that time span.

Matthew Trembley takes over for JoJo Dodd and is aware of the winning that has taken place with the Lady Vols.

In the week of practice he has watched so far, Trembley said the players were getting the touches on the soccer ball that he expected, but possessions were a little low. He likes the prospects for another good year.

It will be somewhat of an adjustment for Trembley as a high school coach after working with 10-year-old boys in the past.

He still looks forward to introducing his style at Starkville Academy.

“It’s been around what I expected,” Trembley said. “Getting some of the administration stuff and learning that process has been fun. Other than that, I think we’ll be OK. If we put in the work right in practices, we should be good.”

There are only a few short days before the Lady Vols open the season against Magnolia Heights on July 31. Trembley said the main points he will emphasize between now and then will be possession and knowing when to attack.

Little has played soccer since she was 4-years-old, so with that comes a little bit of understanding of the sport.

In her last season at Starkville Academy, Little wants to take full advantage of it.

“I want to give all I have, just leave it on the field, have fun and to glorify God,” Little said. “That’s all it’s really about.”