BENSON — The Benson Bobcats open the prep soccer season at home Wednesday at 4 p.m. in a match with the Bisbee Pumas.

The opener is sure to answer many questions for the Bobcats, notes coach Gary Douglas, in his 12th year at the helm.

The Bobcats are led by captains senior Steven Coleman and junior captains Liam Sprietsma and James Coleman.

“We have a very hard working group — team chemistry will definitely be a strength,” said Douglas. “We will have to work on speed of play with a young group with limited experience at this level,” he said. “I believe we are very capable of doing well, we’ll get better as the season progresses and our youth gain experience. We have been very fortunate over the years, effort has always been there, I expect it to continue this year. We are strong at the key positions, we lack experience in depth.”

The upcoming Show Low Invitational on Sept. 13 will provide the Bobcats with plenty of game action to help work some of the kinks out.

The Bobcats, playing out of the 2A South Region, play their first region game Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. at Patagonia.

Volleyball

The Bobcats open the volleyball season at home Wednesday in a 5 p.m. matchup with Gregory School.

Featuring a roster of a “well rounded team of utility players,” first-year head coach Katie Maakestad looks for that versatility to only boost the Bobcats’ capabilities when they hit the floor in the opener and beyond.

“The team needs to learn to be as one on the court and to always be communicating,” she said, adding, “We have some great players from seniors down to freshmen.

Maakestad is optimistic the Bobcats will rebound from last year’s 9-14 season and will be playing postseason volleyball come November.

“Our outlook is to provide an upset or surprise to every team we encounter with our ability and communication,” she said. “I can see us going far this season — state tournament here we come.”

Cross-Country

The Bobcats cross-country teams opened their 2019 season Tuesday in a home multi-team meet, and won’t run again before the home crowd until the Oct. 19 Benson Invitational.

Backed by more solid numbers, the Bobcats should be more formidable than in year’s past.

“We have 18 runners this year and we had our first summer camp so most of the team started running earlier this year,” said head coach Randy Barney, in his 12th year at the helm.

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