Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

August 16, 2013

New-look lineups

Top 2012 teams Kokomo, Western, Taylor feature rebuilt squads

(Continued)

“This is my fourth year as head coach, so my seniors I’ve had all four years,” Woods said. “My freshmen are new, but I have gotten to know them well, and I am very impressed.”

Woods likes the depth of his team.

“This is the deepest team since I have been at Northwestern,” he said. “I can say that most likely my first match lineup will probably look nothing like it does come sectional time. We have a nice balance of returning leaders and newcomers that I feel give us a good team atmosphere. We have good character guys and that can potentially take us a long way.”

Northwestern has a total of nine freshmen in camp, “which will hopefully bode well for the future of the program,” Woods said.

Woods would like to see Northwestern battle for MIC and sectional crowns.

“Our team [needs] to take advantage of every opportunity they play, whether it be in practice or a regular-season match, so we need to learn from and overcome adversity to better ourselves come tournament time,” he said.

“I feel the MIC is going to be pretty solid from top to bottom again,” he added. “It is a very good conference, but I feel we can definitely be a contender this year. Western, Peru, Hamilton Heights and Cass [will also be contenders]. Our conference has quality coaches and quality players so it really is up in the air.”

Like the other Howard County coaches, Woods sees Kokomo as the favorite in the sectional.

“I am sure Kokomo is heavily favored this year, but I would hope by the end of the year we could possibly give Kokomo a run for their money,” he said. “We play them early in the year so I will have a better idea at that time. Western will be there, I am sure of that, but they are going to be fairly young too, I believe. I think the story will be if the youth can rise up to the challenge.”

The Tigers’ season begins Tuesday against Carroll.

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