KICKING INTO HIGH GEAR — Young Marlins ready for soccer action Dec. 5

TINA HARBUCK
Destin Marlins Isaac Machado, Sam Boutz and Jose Lopez surround the ball during practice Monday afternoon.

It’s another building season for the Destin Middle School boy’s soccer team.

“We lost eight good players,” said Destin Coach Carlos Congalves.

Destin has nine eighth graders, six seventh graders, five sixth graders and three fifth graders.

“This is a building season,” Congalves said. “I see this team taking off in two years.”

Nevertheless, coach says this group of Marlins should do well.

“The season should still be good … they have good technique,” he said. “We’re a very young team, but we have a lot of talent.”

Out of a 10 game season, Congalves said he looks for the team to win seven or eight games.

“It won’t be easy,” Congalves told the players as they were huddled up before practice. “We will play some good teams.”

The Marlins’ first game is at 6:15 p.m., Dec. 5 at home against the Lewis Falcons.

“I want you to respect each other and enjoy yourself,” Congalves told the boys. “Winning is good but not every thing. We need to prove that Destin is still strong.”

When the coach asked the players what they thought was their strength, eighth grader JJ Hovenden said “skill and control.” And the rest of the team agreed.

The players have a few more days to hone that skill and control before playing what the coach calls a “friendly game” with Seaside at Helen McCall Park in South Walton. The non-district scrimmage is scheduled for 5:15 Thursday.

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ON THE TEAM

8TH GRADERS Nathan Armstrong Andrew Baker Trey Fell John Hess JJ Hovenden Joseph Kersanac Mark Makela Peter Masone Ivan Ramos

7th GRADERS Sam Boutz Dante Buckley James Hicken Jose Lopez Isaac Machado Kaemon Strickland

6th GRADERS Zachary Lichorwic E.J. Sisco Harrison Smith Wesley Turpin Blake Whitson

5th GRADERS Jaylen Eason Brock McPherson Matthew Moran