Apr 5, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThree Riverton Rampage competitive soccer teams are gearing up for the two month spring season.
Riverton will field U14, U12 and U10 teams.
The U14 and U10 are boys teams, and the U12 is a co-ed team. The first day of the season for the Riverton squads is Sunday.
"That is an average number that we always have on the boys side," Riverton U14 coach Mike Axthelm said. "We would like to see more girls on the team side."
The matches for the U14 are two, 35-minute halves, while the games in the U12 will last two, 30-minute halves.
In the U10 division, the matches are two, 25-minute halves.
"At the start of the season, we are really working defensively," Axthelm said. "As the year goes, our offense continues to build and build. By the end of the season we have both sides of the team working very well."
Julie Watts coaches the Riverton U12 team. Jay Vincent and Grant Linck coach the U10 program.
"Julie has been a great help to the program," Axthelm said. "Julie goes where we need her."
The Riverton U14 team finished second in the state last year.
"We do have a lot of returning players," Axthelm said. "They got a lot of experience at the state tournament. The kids work well together."
Riverton has practiced for almost a month to prepare for the season.
"We started out working on defense," Axthelm said. "The defense came along really quick. This week, we just kind of shifted to the midfield and are working on our offense."
Riverton will open against Rock Springs at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Wolverine Field.
"I do know that Rock Springs has lots of kids and two teams in the U14 age bracket," Axthelm said.
The Rampage ends the day at 1 p.m. against Casper.
"Casper has been playing all winter," Axthelm said. "They have been doing extremely well. It will be a very tough match with Casper."
The Riverton U10 squad plays Sunday at Rein Park.
Riverton takes the field at 10 a.m. against Worland. The Rampage faces Lander at 2 p.m.
The U14 level fields 11 players per team.
"This season, I want to see skill development on an individual level in these basic areas of dribble, passing, trapping and shooting," Watts said. "We will also be focusing on game play comprehension and strategy, anticipating the next play and set pieces, like corner kicks, throw-ins and free kicks."
Watts said the Riverton U12 team is a wide mix of talents.
"Some of the players have been together since U10 or U8," Watts said. "They have played together for six to eight seasons. Some of the players are new to competitive soccer."
Riverton has improved significantly on ball control during the first couple of weeks in practice.
"The most noticeable difference right now is the ability to keep the ball at their feet while looking up the field," Watts said.
The Riverton U12 team travels to Lander for a 1 p.m. Sunday match vs. Rock Springs.
At 3 p.m. Riverton takes on Lander.
"The first weekend will be all for communication and trust," Watts said.
The U12 has 11 players on each side on the field. The U10 goes eight players on a team in play.
Riverton rosters for the Rampage teams
U10 --- Jace Anderson, Olivia Bradley, Daxton Fischer, Kade Gabrielsen, Hailee Henry, Brady Howard, Jesse Millward, Braydden Motisi, Brice Nimmo, Robert Porter, Jason Vincent.
U12 --Cydney Bradley, Kelcie Caswell, Alex Daniels, Meeghan Healy, Caleb Henry, Israel Holguin, Blake Howard, Zachary Kellogg, Dawson Lane, Iain Magruder, Grace Miller, Kelsey Milleson, Price Millward, Madisyn Pantle, Halle Robinson, Ashton Settlemire, Elliot Stafford, Gabrielle Vincent.
U14 --Kevin Schmidt, Alex Fabricus, Reed Axthelm, Steven Jones, Slade Becker, Evan White, Skyler Heibert, Braden Djezvian, Nate Young, Matthew Reinig, Lucas Johnston, Jason Thoren, Nick Stover, Casey Chancellor, Cody Chancellor, Trenton Landis.
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