The Elizabethtown girls soccer team visited Hickory Run State Park, near Wilkes-Barre, and experienced a weekend of rafting, swimming, camping and paintball.
The trip, which last from Friday, Aug. 18, until Sunday, Aug. 20, served as a team bonding weekend after the opening week of preseason training.
“This year we’re randomly placing them in their tents so they can’t pick and making them ride up with people that they might not know. It gives them a chance to get to know someone that they might not know that well,” Coach Keith Renner said.
Junior high coach Katie Leverentz said that it also gives the team’s seniors a chance to step into a leadership role.
The weekend will provide a respite from their opening week of early training sessions. Renner said that the first week serves as a tryout period to see who may be able to fill a role on the team.
“We have a battery of fitness and technical tests that they complete. It helps us figure out who is in shape for the season and who has been working out over the summer. The technical tests give us an idea about their skill level,” Renner said.
The testing seemingly went well as Renner said this year’s team is one of the better prepared teams that he has coached in his time at Elizabethtown. There are still varsity spots that have yet to be filled and they may serve as additional motivation, Renner said.
The team returned to practice on Monday, Aug. 21, a day before they scrimmaged at Hershey. Heading into the second week of training, Renner said that a bigger focus would be placed on developing a team dynamic.
“We will try to get girls comfortable with who their going to be playing with on the field and start to put together some of our tactical stuff. There’s not a lot of time so you have to squeeze all of that stuff in before the first game,” Renner said.
The girls have a scrimmage against Lower Dauphin scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 4 p.m. before their season opener on Friday, Sept. 1 against Dallastown.