Up front are senior Cheyenne Eltringham, who led the Kats with 18 goals and nine assists last season, and sophomore Taylor Coram.
“Kokomo’s obviouisly a bigger program [than Eastern], an established program already having tradition, already having history,” Duggins said. “I want to make sure that the [veterans] that are already in place lead the way. I want to make sure that we come in and make this [coaching transition] as easy for everybody as possible and keep the tradition of team camaraderie and keep the things going that help them play as a core group.”
Duggins said he hopes to expand the Kats’ repertoire “into more formations, more strategies, just trying to add into what was already a good foundation of a program.”
The Comet program had been building toward this season for quite some time. Then this summer, the plans hit a speed bump as long-time coach Duggins left to take over at Kokomo. Now, nine-year assistant Chris Rees takes over and hopes that the Comets cruise without missing a beat.
“Most of these girls I coached out at Greentown in the rec league. A lot of these girls I’ve coached since they were 4, 5 years old,” Chris Rees said. “And I was with Kevin so long our coaching styles are very similar so it’s been pretty seamless.”
Eastern has 11 seniors on the squad. All that experience, with the addition of some underclassmen who will get on the field, leads to high hopes.
“I’m very excited about this season,” Chris Rees said. “I’ve got 24 good girls. I don’t have a bad apple in the bunch. These girls have played together most of their lives. I expect that we will have a very good season.”
Leading scorer Savannah Rees returns from a squad that was 10-5-1 last season. She scored 22 goals last season and will man the central midfielder spot. Elena White is a forward or wing midfielder. Marissa Evenson is a wing midfielder or forward.