The Laramie High School soccer team is preparing for the 2018 spring season.

LHS is coming off a tough 2017 season. The team had a rough state tournament where they finished in 6th place, after losing in the first round. 

Two years ago, Laramie made a playoff run and took state from defending champions Riverton High School. 

Laramie High School Senior Timmy Atencio believes he can have the same feeling he did his sophomore season, when the Plainsmen took state. Atencio couldn’t play much his sophomore year due to injuries.

“I have been training a lot with some of the other seniors and many of the young guys who come to our open gyms,” Atencio said. The team has been hosting “drop-ins” that allow kids to go and get some extra practice in before the beginning of the season.

The drop-ins occur three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday). The team works on foot skills, passing, and shooting. These help kids learn the system and bond as a team. 

Some of the seniors and underclassmen have been playing in college I.D. tournaments. These bring greater competition, which will help them be more poised against some of the state’s tougher teams.

Junior Baxter Tuggle believes that the team will have good chemistry this year, due to only losing a few seniors. Laramie will be without All-State player and offensive powerhouse Blake Moore, who is currently attending Colorado Mesa University on a football scholarship. 

Atencio also expects the team to be strong and confident this year. “We have put in a lot of hard work this offseason which will hopefully put us a step up on our competition,” Atencio said.

Atencio wants to the team to perform to their top level of competition as soon as possible so they can be a force to reckoned with throughout the whole season. “we want to be the top dogs,” Atencio said. 

Tuggle believes that teams such as Natrona County High School and Rock Springs High School will bring some of the toughest competition this year. “they have a large returning group of seniors,” Tuggle said. “they are going to be very experienced and ready to compete.”

Atencio made it clear that his goal for this season was to win the regional tournament, so that the team could have the No. 1 seed going into the state tournament. “We need to be a team that controls the possession of the ball throughout the entire game,” Atencio said.

Tuggle, who participates in indoor track, football, and soccer has a weight lifting program that he has been doing to prepare for this upcoming season. ” I joined track to help with my speed,” Tuggle said. 

Third year head coach Dan Benford has had much success in his first two years and will look to continue it in his third year. Benford previously coached for multiple years in Arizona before accepting the job in Laramie.