FarmingtonAugust 29, 2012
Move to OAA Red amps up 2012 season for Farmington High soccer
By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer
FARMINGTON — Improving from one game to the next.
The goal for the 2012 soccer season is essentially that simple for the Farmington High squad.
And with good reason.
A year ago, this was a team loaded with youth and talent. The Falcons rolled to a 12-3-3 overall record and claimed the Oakland Activities Association White Division crown with an 8-2-2 mark.
Nine months later, nine players are back from that squad — a year older, a year more talented.
Expectations have risen.
So too has the challenge.
“Moving up to the Red Division is going to make things very tough, very interesting,” coach Luke Juncaj said last week. “Playing the types of teams we’re going to is going to be a great challenge. But we expect to have a very good team. We expect to compete every night.”
Speaking after an Aug. 21 practice, Juncaj’s players maintained the same belief.
“I think we’re all looking forward to it,” senior goalie Alex Arlin said. “The level of play is going to be much more difficult every time out.”
“It’ll be tough, but better as the year goes on,” senior Brandon Schulz said.
At press time, the Falcons were 3-0, having picked up three wins and a title at the Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day tournament.
Matching last season’s mark, while still a goal, isn’t the main focus. After all, Farmington will be facing four teams within its own division that had at least 10 wins a year ago.
But, and this is the part Juncaj and his guys love the most, the preparation during these nightly battles will hopefully pay off come district time.
In the 2011 tourney, Farmington took its division title to the Division 1 district round and was promptly ousted in the semifinal by Livonia Stevenson 3-0.
“We lost to a team that played at a higher level than we did during the regular season,” senior Donald Payne admitted. “We know that won’t be the case again.”
Asked about specific goals, Juncaj went back to the theme of daily improvement.
“We have to get better every time out,” he said.
He added a finish in the top half of the league remains a legitimate goal, and a city championship remains an absolute must.
“After that, we don’t know too much about the district we’ll be in, but we want to see what happens, and try and get out of it,” Juncaj added. “I know we’ll be ready for it.”