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Newton boys soccer emphasizes team play on home stretch
Nolan Stanfield
Nolan Stanfield serves as the Rams’ goalkeeper this season. Head coach Duane Williams recognized Stanfield as one of the team’s two veterans. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton Rams boys soccer team continues to build a stronger bond as it looks for success on the pitch.

Entering the final stretch of the season behind where they wanted to be, head coach Duane Williams is still looking for his bunch to come together as it finishes its region slate.

“We are still in the process of building, we are in the building phase,” Williams said. “By the end of the year I wanted to make sure the team had more camaraderie and more cohesiveness. When we started the season, we were more of individuals, so we wanted to get more team play.”

The Rams go into their final three games with a record of 2-9-1, while still searching for their first region win. Despite Newton’s  shortcomings, Williams feels the Rams’ determination during the rough patch of the season will help them for future success.

“[Our strength] is the resiliency of our players. Even though we are having a bad season right now, we are not giving up,” Williams said.

Team buy-in is one crucial aspect Williams is looking for as he works to develop this program. 

“It is very important for them to buy in,” he said. “If they are buying in and they are playing together, that is when we start to look better as a team and we start having success.  If they do not buy into the team and the team game, that is when we go back to playing as individuals and we will end up getting beat.”

Looking back at the season, Williams referenced Nolan Stanfield and Brady Williams as the two veterans who have played big roles both during games and in practices.

Stanfield suits up as the goalkeeper for the Rams while Williams assists up front as the CAM.

As Williams looks ahead to what he has coming back for next year, he has high hopes for multiple young Rams that could possibly become big pieces for the soccer program’s development.

“We have a young kid Rodrigo Reyez and Jamoy Binns,” Williams said. “They both showed up as freshmen and they put their heart into the game, and they showed that they can compete at a high level.”

Even though the Rams find themselves on the wrong side of the region standings, Williams and the rest of the coaching staff believes the team is on the right track to making the push back up to an eventual region title one day. 

Newton wraps up its regular season with a Friday home game against South Gwinnett (8-5) Wednesday home game with Archer (5-7-1).