The process continues for Mike Petite and his players.
Petite is heading into his second season as the Callaway High boys soccer coach, and there is still work to be done. After going 118 last year, Petite is still showing his players what is expected of them.
It is an ongoing every day experience for a Cavalier boys soccer program that has never won a state playoff game. But Petite thinks that kind of thing could change in the very near future.
The coach feels like he has the team and the talent that could make some inroads this season. The Cavaliers aren’t shy about it either.
“This could be a special year for Callaway. We are going on the attack. We expect more. We want to push the other teams. We are stressing accountability, and we are trying to change the culture (in CHS boys soccer),” said Petite.
The Cavaliers have some players who could flip the switch with 13 seniors and eight returning starters.
“We are excited. These guys want to be out here. We have some strength and some speed. We are going to carry 26 (varsity) players, and we have competition at every position,” said Petite.
Coming back for more are Callaway High returning starters Grayson Lambert, Wes Brooks, Ian Bryan, Noah Stephens, Hugo Lopez, Coleman Arrington, Tyler Lewis and 6-foot-1 sophomore defender Tavian Smiley.
Junior forward Michael Everett will also compete for a Cavalier starting position after transferring to CHS from LaGrange High.
“Everett is a real talent. He is quick, aggressive and smart,” said Petite.
The Callaway High boys also return their starting goalkeeper from last spring. Lopez is that player, and he’s prepared to reach new heights and record more saves in 2018.
He is a team player first, however.
“We are growing up. We’re talented, and we’re passing (more),” said Lopez.
The Cavaliers also return their top two goal scorers from last season. Taking some shots at this season will be Lambert and Bryan, who both scored 14 goals last year.
Lambert is a forward, and Bryan is a midfielder. Both players are seniors.
“We could win the region. We’re more fit (this season). We can execute, and we know how to put some passes together,” said Lambert.
The Callaway High boys will open their 18-game regular season with a match at Sandy Creek on Feb. 8. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m.
“We want to have some fun, and we want to win. We want to be a dominating program in (Class) AA,” said Petite, the former LaGrange Academy soccer coach.