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Local 11U girls vie for championship glory

In three days, the 11-and-under girls will be looking for championship gold in Dothan during the 2009 ARPA state soccer tournament.

And after weeks of practice, the team thinks it is up to the task of bringing the trophy back to Troy.

“I feel pretty good about Saturday’s games,” coach Tim Bobo said during the team’s practice Tuesday night.

“We have a good group of kids here and I believe we are pretty strong in all three phases of the game.

“They have been waiting for these games for a couple of weeks now and I think they are prepared to play well,” he added.

Even with strong play in all three phases of the game, the coach said he is still a bit unsure about what to expect.

“I am a bit apprehensive about all we can do,” Bobo said about his team’s chances come Saturday.

“The most we can do right now is prepare ourselves and not worry about the other teams.”

One thing that may give the team an advantage over the rest of the competition is whom the team has been practicing with.

The past couple of weeks the girls have been getting some pointers from the Troy University soccer team.

“It was pretty cool for the girls,” Bobo said.

“The Troy team helped the girls learn how to spread the field out as well as how to play the game.

“Whether the girls take it to heart or not is a different story, but I still think they learned a lot,” the coach laughed.

Another aspect of this team is the amount of experience it has in situations like the one it will be faced with.

There are six girls on the roster that were a part of the nine-and-under state championship team from a year ago, and Bobo believes that will play a factor.

“It should help a lot,” he said regarding the championship experience.

“We are pretty young in some areas, some of these girls have done this before and know what to expect.”

One of those girls, is Meredith Moats, the captain of the team.

“I feel pretty confident about Saturday’s games,” she said. “I think we have a good shot to win.”

“One thing I tell the girls is that at the beginning of the game will be kind of scary but once you start playing it is a lot of fun,” the forward added.

The team will get underway in Dothan at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon as the team will play Jacksonville.

On Sunday, the girls will wrap up play against Fort Payne at 1:30 p.m. and again at 4 p.m, against Dothan.