HomeSportsMadison soccer aiming for another title with new style of play

Madison soccer aiming for another title with new style of play

A Different Look

Madison’s soccer team has a different look with a new formation and new players in different roles in 2024. (GAIL BAILEY/The Jackson Post)

By Brandon Shields

Managing Editor

This time a year ago, the boys’ soccer team at Madison Academic was early in its undefeated state championship campaign with an experienced senior class scoring most of its points.

That senior class is gone now, and so is their scoring abilities.

The coach who led them to that state championship is gone as well.

Jeremy Young, who’s been the coach for the girls’ team and an assistant for the boys the last three seasons, was named the new boys’ head coach last fall.

“It’s been good,” Young said about the first few months of coaching the boys’ team. “Being the assistant the last few years and having my own kids play travel ball with a lot of these guys, I already know all the kids and most of the families.

“But there have been times each year where I’ve had to coach a preseason game or two and a regular season game or two, so we were already pretty familiar with each other, even with me in the role as the head coach.”

After four regular season games, the Mustangs were 2-2 going into their game at Crockett County on Tuesday, March 26 with a 1-0 record in district play.

“The biggest thing coming into the season was how to replace the guys who were part of last year’s senior class that scored so many goals,” Young said. “And the thing is you don’t replace them.

“We don’t really have anyone on the roster that scores goals as consistently as Donovan [Pruitte] did last year. Our roster can’t really replace guys like him or Braden [Nye] or Kyle [Korth] one-for-one, so we had to find other ways to continue to compete.”

Young began working with a new formation, one that looks more complicated than he said it is.

“Soccer can really be a simple game if you don’t overcomplicate it, so while we’re changing how we’re playing, we’ve tried to keep it simple for the guys as they’re learning,” Young said. “But our offense is based largely on continuous movement. 

“We’re spreading out and getting everyone involved. When you pass the ball off to someone else, you’re running move somewhere else and getting open for another pass.”

Similar to a pass-first basketball offense that looks to keep moving the ball until someone gets an open shot, Young said another advantage of the new formation is it gets more players involved.

“Donovan scored a lot of goals, and a big reason for that is because his skill set allowed us to have the strategy of clearing out and letting him go one-on-one with whoever was on him,” Young said. “But our current roster lends itself to more of this style of spreading the ball around and forcing the defense to mark multiple guys.”

There’s been a lot of film work watching pro teams run this offense, and there’s been a lot more film work watching what weaknesses Madison has in running it.

“We’re putting different players in different positions and seeing how well they do there, and everyone is picking up on it well and seeing what they’re supposed to be doing and following through in games,” Young said.

Brandon Shields,

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