TELL CITY – Kelsey Henrickson has a unique challenge.
The daughter of longtime Heritage Hills football coach Bob Clayton is starting a high school athletic program from scratch, as Tell City will have girls varsity soccer for the first time this fall.
“I think we are very excited, it’s an exciting time,” Henrickson said. “We’re not nervous, we’re not scared.
“We are just wanting to watch the team grow and we’re just hoping to see a lot of growth this season.”
Obstacles early on for Henrickson included roster numbers and commitment but it appears those aren’t issues for Tell City.
“We have good commitment from all those girls,” she said. “We have an awesome group and that was our big challenge, getting everybody out here.”
Henrickson played soccer in the Pocket Athletic Conference for Heritage Hills under coaches Billy Phelps and Doug Satterfield, so it isn’t surprising she’s taking what she learned from them and using those lessons herself as she enters her first season as a head coach.
“I think they both were hard on us for sure, but they made it to where it was a fun experience,” Henrickson said. “We got in trouble, we had to run a lot, which was a good thing.
“I feel like they both really instilled the seniors and juniors as leaders on the team and they made them get us really pumped up and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”
Outside of wins and losses, Henrickson will be looking for growth throughout the season.
“We have already seen a lot so I’m expecting to see a lot more,” she said. “Attitude and effort are so important, especially in soccer.
“It’s hot out here, you run a lot, if you have a bad attitude, you aren’t going to get anywhere. Attitude and effort are huge.”
Compared to other first-year team situations, Henrickson said Tell City girls soccer is in great shape despite it being the first season because of the feeder programs.
“We have quite a few girls who are freshman right now that have played in middle school,” she said. “There is a really strong program already set up, we have a strong feeder program set up so that helped with these girls whenever they were able to take that to the next level.”
It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that Henrickson is already looking forward to Aug. 24 match against her alma mater.
“It will be really fun, I’m excited,” she said. “Hopefully we win it.”
The Marksmen open the season Aug. 15 at Pike Central at 7 p.m.