---- — By Eric Shultz
For The Daily Item
Entering his third year coaching, James Sandri has gotten Lourdes Regional boys' soccer slowly started on the winning track.
After going winless in his first season, Sandri's team finished with four wins in 2012. Keeping that momentum going could be tricky, though, as the Red Raiders lost eight seniors and now include a variety of players still converting to soccer.
Fortunately for Sandri, he said those players are athletic, so the transition may be slightly easier.
"So as soon as they get some touches with the ball, I think it's just going to be a natural fit. It's just a matter of getting their foot coordination down and their moves," Sandri said.
Sandri said those back from last season will be important to the growth of the rest of the team.
"It's really going to help out in all aspects, because the other kids that are going to mirror their positions, it's going to be training for them," he said.
On the girls' side of Lourdes soccer, low numbers are again a problem for coach Charlie Rebuck.
"At our school, I don't think we can get past the low numbers," Rebuck said. "We have some up-and-coming talent, but until they're old enough, we'll probably end with the same situation."
Rebuck said one of the biggest obstacles for his team, which features 16 players, is keeping everyone fresh enough to go the whole game. To combat fatigue, he said he is hoping conditioning keeps the team healthy and on the field.
With numbers as an issue, Rebuck said the team will rely on his eight returning starters.
"(They) will be an important part, because they're going to have to carry the team."