R-H girls varsity soccer begins inaugural season

Published 1:25 pm Friday, March 18, 2016

By Tom Lanigan

Special to The Charlotte Gazette

High school spring sports season began on Monday, and the Randolph-Henry High School Statesmen have some new improvements the school and Statesmen fans can be proud off.

Over the course of the winter and during the holiday season, the athletics department made some significant changes to the Statesmen soccer program. A new scoreboard has been installed and, according to Athletics Director and Assistant Principal Chris Holt, contract negotiations are underway with Musco Lighting to have new field lighting added. Holt said the new lighting will offer much more flexibility in scheduling games now that both teams will be playing on the same field.

And, the bigger news? Randolph-Henry has a new varsity girls soccer team. “Actually, we (the athletics department) have been discussing the subject for some time. Interest in our sport has been growing the past several years, locally, statewide and nationally,” R-H varsity boys’ soccer head coach Patrick Shay said. “A big boost came when the U. S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the World Cup in July 2015. (The United States Women’s National Soccer Team represents the United States in international soccer competitions. It is controlled by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). The girls on our co-ed team were pumped up and our (athletics director) Chris Holt decided the time was right, and if we acted now, we could put the girl’s team together for the 2016 spring sports season.”

“After we looked into all the logistics involved in starting up a completely new team, equipment, uniforms, game scheduling (and) transportation, we said, ‘Let’s do it,’” said Holt.

The R-H team has secured well-known veteran coach, Penny Miles, who is no stranger when it comes to building winning programs. Miles comes to R-H after engineering Bluestone High School’s highly successful varsity girls soccer team.

Holt said the athletics administration is working to add the girls team to the athletics website and said if information is still unavailable, call the athletics department. The girls team will host Bluestone on Wednesday at 5 p.m.