WEST JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Huskies girls soccer team not only saw their season end at West Iredell Tuesday, May 7, they also saw five players’ Huskies careers wrap up. Sam Woods, Haley Miller, Emma Calloway, Carolyn Coldiron and Mabry Watson were the group of seniors who now depart from the squad.
Head coach Paul Winterton said from the start of the season that the team was young, with nearly half of the 19-player squad being freshman. Still, the backbone of experience was something he said couldn’t be over-valued.
“They were great leaders,” Winterton said. “They were great playmakers and pretty good athletes. They had the desire to not quit and just keep going, that’s what I’m going to miss the most out of them.”
Woods, Miller and Calloway were consistent starters for the team, each one bringing something different to the table. Miller played the role of pacy forward which always threatened the opposition, Woods brought a toughness from one box to the other and the two alone combined for 47 goals this season. Calloway’s versatility saw her play in the midfield and defense when needed. Watson and Coldiron both acted as key pieces off of the bench, bringing a spark and holding their own when called upon.
The Huskies’ next season will only see two senior players, defender Gracie Fairchild and midfielder Julia Bassett. Behind them will only be three juniors, while the rest of the team will continue to be on the younger side.
While losing five seniors comes with the loss of experience and leadership, Winterton gave a lot of minutes to freshman and sophomores this season, preparing them to fill larger roles in 2020. He said he has confidence in them moving forward to step up and play to level of those who came before them.