The Steamboat Springs junior varsity soccer team had a successful 2004 season. The Sailors finished 8-3-2 overall, defeating teams from Rifle, Moffat County and Glenwood Springs en route to having a winning record.
The team was composed mainly of freshmen and sophomores. Many JV players ended up playing varsity, as well. This season's varsity team was short on upperclassmen, which forced sophomores and freshmen into starting roles.
Steamboat coach Hobey Early, a former Steamboat player, said the minutes the underclassmen gained on the varsity team, coupled with the success they had on the JV squad, should help the program in the future.
"At the beginning of the season, we had to stress that we were out there for a reason," Early said. "It seemed as the season went on, they got more competitive and wanted to push themselves more and more."
Early said the tie against Glenwood on Sept. 30 was a "turning point" in the season.
"It was, without a doubt, an equal opponent," Early said. "We finally went out and battled and battled."
At the JV level, Early emphasized improving technical ability and skill, as well as tactical aspects of the game. He also worked on increasing competitiveness among the players.
"We worked on trying to develop a passion for the game," Early said. "When you play so much every day, it becomes a routine thing."