GOAL-ORIENTED: Lady Marlins come out kicking on Thursday

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Marlins kick into action at 5 p.m. against Lewis Middle School on Thursday in Niceville.

ON THE TEAM:

8TH GRADERS

Lindley Hill Regan Murphy Summer Allen Helene Masone Sabina Nielsen Isabelle Meadows Casey Ditmar Shayla Eason

7th GRADERS

Kylee Divens Madison Phillips Bailey Johnson Elaina Davies Nickie Cobble Chaney Fisher Makenzie Castaneda Katie Mignacca

6th GRADERS

Hayley Ditmar Chloe Hill Jazzylnn Sanders Georgia Bright Courtney Page Erin Eubanks Mikayla Hewitt Miriam Michua

Competitive and talented are just a couple of the words Destin Middle School Marlins girls’ soccer Coach Demetris Stevens used to describe his team that kicks into action Dec. 6.

“I think we’ll be competitive in every match,” Stevens said.

The Lady Marlins finished the season last year 5-4. “We’re looking to improve on that … we want to win at least eight. We’re hoping to win that trophy.”

And in order to get it done, it’s going to take “hard work … and they’ve got to buy into it. Plus we’ll have to have a little bit of luck to pull off that county championship.”

The Marlins are made up of eight eighth graders, eight seventh graders and eight sixth graders.

Stevens explained that two years ago he kept several sixth graders who are now in the eighth.

“So we’ve got a lot of leadership on the team,” he said. “And they are very talented.”

All that is needed now is a game.

“We need to get in some competition to see exactly what we’ve got,” Stevens said. “They look good out here.

“We’ve got a good attacking force. We’ve got some that can thump it.”

One of those players is eighth grader Helene Masone, the coach said. He is also expecting big things from eighth grade left-foot kicker Casey Ditmar.

“Kylee Divens is good on the ball. She’s a difference maker on the squad,” Stevens said.

“We’ve got a team that is very offensive minded, and we’re looking to score a lot this season. They have pretty good passing skills. All levels of play are improving.”

If there were a weakness on the team, Divens said, “It’s moving faster on the field.”

Coach Stevens agreed, however, he noted the defense is a little weak.

“We’re building a new defense,” he said. “But so far it’s shaping up well.”

The biggest thing is “they’ve got to learn to work as a unit.”

The Marlins will get a chance to show how well they work together when they kick off their season in a 5 p.m. game, Dec. 6 in Niceville against the Lewis Falcons.