The Robert C. Byrd High School boys soccer team got back on the field Monday morning, as practices began for the 2015 season. The Eagles are coming off a solid season in 2014, ending the year with a 16-2-3 record.

The Eagles lost a strong group of nine seniors from last season’s team, including star forward Chaz Rodeheaver, who now plays at Alderson Broaddus University.

While on the outside it may appear to be a rebuilding year for the Eagles, head coach T.J. Hill has reason to believe otherwise. “This current group of players have been in the program for two years learning our system and gaining experience. They are ready for their chance to play. The biggest thing we are losing from last year’s team is maturity,” Hill said.

Daniel Mullett, a senior midfielder, contributed big goals last season for the Eagles, and will be a key component of this year’s team. “Daniel will be a great leader for this team. He takes time to get to know all the players on the team,” stated Hill. “He’s got great footwork. What he lacks in size he makes up for in hustle and smarts.”

The Eagles also will benefit from the return of sophomore midfielder/striker Emilio Buffey to the starting lineup, who missed most of last season with a back injury. “He’s got those intangible skills that you can’t teach. He has great field vision and makes great plays away from the ball,” Hill said.

Two seasons ago, the Eagles made it to the AA-A State Championship, falling short to PikeView High School, and are aiming to make a run again in 2015.

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The Eagles kickoff the season on August 21 at 6PM with a home, non-conference game against Notre Dame H.S.

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