First-year Bob Jones girls soccer coach Luke Oakley’s Patriots were ranked 10th in Class 7A entering the final week of March. With Bob Jones at 4-2-1 and 0-1 in Area 8, Oakley sees his team starting to gel as it has integrated a transfer and two freshmen into the lineup who have played significant minutes. “We’re trying to blend that together with what we’ve got and push hard every day at practice,” Oakley said. Chelsea Bradley came to James Clemens from Texas and has made an immediate impact as a scorer. Oakley said Bradley had 10 goals in seven games entering March 24. “It’s not easy for any person to just come in right off the bat,” Oakley said. “She’s energetic. She just loves to play. We just know if we can get her the ball and give her a chance to shoot most times it’s going in.” Freshmen Emily Franklin and Jessica Glassman have also been key contributors in their first season on the varsity team. Oakley also celebrated the return of senior captain Hannah Earnst from an ACL injury she suffered during the fall. “She’s done an incredible job getting back healthy and back contributing for the team,” Oakley said. “I wasn’t sure what I would get coming in,” Oakley said of the team. “They’ve definitely applied themselves and really bought into the new way that we’re trying to build the program as far as being accountable, doing the right things.” Video review has been one of the tools the Patriots have used to help the team improve. “We’ve done a lot of game analysis,” Oakley pointed out. “Looking back at what we’re doing well and what we’re not doing well.” Bob Jones, whose area loss was a 3-2 double-overtime setback at James Clemens on March 10, got back into its area schedule by hosting Buckhorn on March 27 in a game that was played after press time. The Patriots will play at Buckhorn on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and play outside the area at Huntsville on Tuesday.
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