The new era of the Faith Middle School sports program will begin Tuesday as the Faith boys and girls soccer teams will take the field at home against Pacelli Middle School.
Faith made the decision this summer to expand its sports program to encompass all sports against Muscogee County district schools.
Coaches for all fall sports, including soccer, football and volleyball, have been appointed.
Eduardo Ramos, former Faith baseball coach, will coach boys soccer, while Tammy Donahue, who has seven years of youth coaching experience, will guide the girls soccer team.
Lee Obie, who has been head coach of the Fort Benning Bengals since 2005, will lead football. Sheri Coreano, a Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation employee, who played volleyball at Ventura High School in Ventura, Calif, will coach volleyball.
Tryouts for both soccer teams were held Saturday and practices began Monday.
“They’ve got a lot of motivation,” Ramos said about the prospective players. “They want to play and make the team. Now they’ll see the effects of cuts. If they want to be on the team, they’ll give it 110 percent.”
Ramos, a sergeant first class with 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, will only be able to coach the boys team for one year. After the season ends, he said, he will be transferred to Fort Drum, N.Y.
Ramos said his team objective is to develop the right attitude while playing higher competition.
“For (the players), it’s getting them the experience of winning and losing and coming back from a loss,” he said.
Donahue said her main goal is to develop unity within her team in order to make sure what is built this season will be able stand in the years to come.
She said she is excited for her players because the new soccer team gives each game prominence.
“They’re playing for a school,” Donahue said. “It’s something they’ve had to work for and they can be proud they can represent their school.”
Coreano will have a little more time, about three weeks, to prepare her volleyball team. She said her focus is to make sure her players know the fundamentals of the game. If it is necessary to cut anyone from the team during tryouts, she said she will be looking for how well players know the basics.
“It will be enough time,” she said, “as long as you come in there with the intent of doing your best. Hopefully, within those 20 days, we’ll have those basics set in stone.”
Volleyball tryouts will be Oct. 10-12 and the season will begin Oct. 25.
Like the soccer teams, the Faith football team will have a short amount of time to practice and prepare for the season’s first game. Football tryouts will be held Sept. 15-16 and practice will begin Sept. 19. The first game will be Oct. 6 at Doughboy Stadium.
As the Bengals head coach, Obie said he became accustomed to having more time to prepare for the regular season, but now he has Muscogee County rules to abide by.
“It’s going to be a challenge to squeeze two months into three weeks,” he said.
Although all county schools have the same window of time to prepare, not all are building a team from scratch, Obie said.
“A lot of these kids are probably going to be humbled,” he said. “The teams that are out there have been playing with each other for years.”
However, Obie said his coaching mentality will remain the same — be prepared to win the game at hand. “I want to go 6-0,” he said. “I’m not looking for an inaugural season, I want to put a stamp that says Fort Benning is here.”