New era for Midway men’s soccer

By Daron Barefoot - Sports Writer

The Midway Raiders men’s soccer team will have a new coach when they kick off their 2018 campaign next month. The Midway Athletics Department has named James O’Brien as the new head coach as he takes the reins from outgoing head coach Allen McLamb, who will be putting more focus on girls basketball.

O’Brien certainly brings experience to the table for this new role.

He has served the past eight seasons as the assistant coach for the Lady Raiders soccer team and the past six seasons as a men’s assistant.

He was also JV coach for the boys soccer team as well as the JV girls soccer coach this past season.

The Raiders finished their 2017 season with an overall record of 9-12 and a conference record of 3-9.

In an effort to improve on that mark, O’Brien has hit the ground running this summer, hitting areas that he has said needs improvement.

“We are working on making sure everyone’s positioning is right and making sure we are in condition to play a whole 80 minutes and finishing our plays without giving up,” he stated.

O’Brien acknowledges that the East Central Conference is a tough dwelling and says that competing is one of his primary goals.

“I want us to be aggressive and finish all of our plays. I want them to play the whole 80 minutes not just the first half or second half, I want to win,” he continued.

One thing that could play into his benefit is experience. O’Brien notes that there are eight returning seniors with as many as 12 showing up for summer workouts.

“We’ve had 12 seniors at the workouts. A few haven’t played for us before but some have played when I coached JV so we have some experience there.”

The Raiders will hold final tryouts the first week of August before they get into full swing. They are slated to scrimmage with Harnett Central on August 8 before participating in the Sampson County Soccer Jamboree on August 11.

O’Brien takes reins of program

By Daron Barefoot

Sports Writer

Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.

Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.