Gump, Madden named captains at Lady Wave Midnight Madness


By Drew Terhall

GREENVILLE — The high school fall sports season is officially here. July 31 is the first day all fall sports can start to practice and prepare for their upcoming season.

To begin the brand new season, Greenville girls soccer had their annual Midnight Madness practice at Harmon Field. Once the clock struck midnight, the team was introduced and they had a short practice to usher in the new season.

Head coach Dave Ernst said overall, he is ready to see what his team can do this season. A bulk of the team is making their Greenville soccer debut this season.

“Excited, terrified. But more excited for the new season. We got some girls that are making their first appearence tonight to get started. Then tomorrow, the first day of actual training. Excited to get the season going,” Ernst said.

The team is coming off a 3-14-1 season. The team matched their win total from 2021. Greenville had three wins in the 2019 and 2020 season combined.

Ernst said this year’s team is more athletic and has more speed than last year’s team. After losing eight seniors from last year’s team, they won’t have a lot of experience or a high level of soccer IQ.

It will take time for the team to get that experience and increase their soccer IQ. But with the physical abilities this team has, the program could get off to a better start.

“We don’t have the soccer knowledge or the technique that we lost with the eight seniors, losing them. But, athletic ability and just pure speed, we made major improvements,” Ernst said.

After the teams were introduced, the captains for this season were named. Seniors Kaelyn Gump and Josie Madden were named the two captains.

Gump was a captain last season. She said after seeing what the team lost last season, she did have her worries if they were going to be able to field a team. But after going through the summer workouts, she is excited to see the new girls come in and work with them.

“Throughout the summer, there was a lot of incoming freshmen and a lot of incoming talent. Being able to lead those girls into high school and furthering their love for soccer is a great opportunity,” Gump said.

Madden is ready to lead this group of girls throughout the season. As one of the few players who does have experience playing soccer at the varsity level, she understands her role in acclimating the team to varsity competition.

“We have to set the tone for the whole season. A lot of the girls have never played before, so we have to show how it’s supposed to be,” Madden said.

Having the team choose the captains shows the changes Ernst has made to his coaching philosophy. Instead of making every decision, he wants to let his captains take control of the team.

To him, it’s the captains’ team.

“I’ve always named my captains. They’ve always kind of emerged. This year, leaving a lot of the decisions up to the girls. The girls voted on them at the end of team week last week,” Ernst said. “Big step, leaders for the program.”

The girls are ready to get the season started. It’s going to be a new-look Lady Wave team taking the field this season. For both captains, they are excited to form new relationships with their new teammates and see what they can achieve together.

“A lot of teams have that chemistry already, we do not. I’m excited to try to form those bonds with them,” Gump said.

“We have a lot of talent and athleticism. I want to see how we can all play together,” Madden said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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