After finishing last year’s season earlier than they had hoped, the boys soccer team has been working to improve for their upcoming season.
Last season, the Jackets finished sixth in the 7-AA region and did not advance to the state playoffs. However, head coach Chandler Gray stated that one of the team’s big accomplishments last year was winning a game against Model.
This year, Gray is excited about the experienced players on the 2020 team. He noted that there are several strong players that have returned, as well as a group of freshman who were apart of the team who won the middle school championship game last year.
Gray specifically highlighted three seniors as ones he knows will play key roles in the team’s successes this season.
He stated that Nathan Bonito is a very experienced player who he thinks will be one of the best goalkeepers in the region. He added that Manuel Ramos was Rockmart’s Defensive Player of the Year last season, and will be a great leader and player this year.
Lorenzo Panico, a new face to the Rockmart team, has a lot of background in the sport from playing in Italy. Panico moved to Rockmart before the beginning of the school year and was a member of the football team this past season.
“He has performed very well so far and has a lot of skill, so we are expecting big things from him,” Gray said.
Overall, Gray feels the toughest teams to face will be Coosa and Gordon Central, who both placed high in the state playoffs last season.
The team’s first game is a scrimmage on Jan. 30 at New Manchester High School.
They will open the season with a game at Temple on Feb. 5 and then at Chattooga on Feb. 7. Their first home game will be hosted on Feb. 11 against Haralson County.