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BOYS SOCCER NOTEPAD: Hitchens confident Cougars will improve

Courtland boys soccer coach Jack Hitchens is in his first season in charge of the Cougars’ varsity program.

But Hitchens is no stranger to the Fredericksburg-area soccer scene. He’s been a club coach for 16 years and he also had a stint as Fredericksburg Academy’s boys and girls coach.

He was the Cougars’ head junior varsity coach and a varsity assistant for four seasons before he took over this year for Kevin Berry, who resigned in 2013.

Hitchens’ Cougars are off to a 0–1–1 start, but he believes the team has the right formula to get on track.

“It’s been a little more responsibility and a little more pressure to be successful,” Hitchens said of taking over as head coach. “But I think once we get all of our people on the same page, we’re going to be fine.”

The Cougars suffered a season-opening loss to Eastern View Friday. But Hitchens was encouraged when they rallied to force a 2–2 tie against Liberty on Monday.

Courtland trailed 2–0 at intermission, rallied to force overtime, but couldn’t finish off the comeback with a victory.

“I was a little disappointed in our effort in the first half to go down 0–2,” Hitchens said. “But I was proud of the guys for the way they pulled together to get the tie. I thought we would get the win because we were all over their goal in overtime, but we couldn’t punch it in.”

Hitchens said he believes the Cougars’ midfield will be their strength this season. He’s also satisfied with the rapid development of freshman midfielder Jeremy Hokenson. Hokenson is a reserve, but he played nearly the entire game against Liberty. He has three assists this season.

“He’s got great field vision, some good skills, he finds the open man and he’s just relentless in the attack,” Hitchens said.

The Cougars will try to notch their first win tonight when they host King George.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/hsfb/2014/03/28/boys-soccer-notepad-hitchens-confident-cougars-will-improve/