The James Clemens girls soccer team (8-4-1 as of March 24), ranked eighth in Class 7A, is closing out the month of March with as the Area 8 leaders at 2-0. Fourth-year James Clemens coach Erin Riddle has been impressed with development of the fifth-year program. “From the past four years that I’ve been at James Clemens we’ve seen exponential growth each year in ability, skill level and work ethic,” Riddle said. “This team is kind of a reflection of all that ground work that previous classes have kind of laid out. Even when we were one of the smaller schools in 7A we didn’t have a lot of experience…our girls would come out there and it would be the hardest working team on the field. So I really feel like that mentality has kind of extended into this season. We’ve got seniors that have been with varsity now for four years that have really laid that groundwork for us and just made us into a really hardworking grounded team.” Two of the senior leaders are co-captions Kiersten Thorum and Jmay Bedingfield. “I think both Jmay Kiersten and are players that from the time that they were freshman were willing to play any position that I gave them,” Riddle said. “Every time they came off the field they wanted to know what they could do better the next time. They’re always uplifting, they always give positive feedback to their teammates. If the other team has a breakaway they are going to be that player that chases that player down and just grinds it out until the very end of the game no matter what position they play. I think either one of them would run through a brick wall for their teammates. When those two step onto the field it raises the level of play for everybody else around them.” This week’s schedule includes home games against non-area opponents Athens (Monday, March 27) and Grissom (Tuesday, March 28). James Clemens played at Grissom on Feb. 27 and defeated the Tigers 6-1. The Jets will resume area play next week on Tuesday at Sparkman and Friday at Bob Jones. Clemens beat Sparkman 7-0 at home on March 8 and visiting Bob Jones 3-2 on March 10.
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