Lee Men Prepared For 2018 Season

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
With a year under his belt head coach Derek Potteiger and the Lee men's soccer team are ready to kick things off in 2018 with a revamped roster and a core group of returning players.
 
In Potteiger's first season the Flames finished an even 6-6-4 and just missed out on the GSC Tournament. The Flames were 4-5-2 in league action and are picked to finish seventh by the conference coaches this year.
 
Junior defender Samir Williams was named to the All-GSC Preseason team coming off his sophomore campaign where he helped to post six shutouts for the Flames and earn All-GSC Second Team honors.

 
In addition to Samir, his brother Samaan Williams returns after scoring four goals last season. Alfie Coldron tied Samaan for the team-lead in points with nine and is back for his senior season. Potteiger will also look to sophomore Jared McWhorter, who scored three goals and started all 16 games as a freshman last season.

Senior impact players Drew Jackson, Jose Orellana and Craig Quinn will also be called upon to help guide the addition of 11 new players to the roster this season.

"We have a veteran group as a whole this year, and in particular a senior class that wants to leave their mark on the program.  They have an opportunity to do so and have been clearly focused on that goal since the last day of last season.  I don't think any of us are carrying a burden as we approach the season but rather an opportunity to do something pretty special," said Potteiger.

 
"There is an excitement within the group heading into this season that wasn't there last year.  There were so many unknowns last season that just don't exist for us walking into the 2018 season, and that certainly impacts how you view so many aspects of the season," Potteiger said. "We only lost a couple starters but have 11 knew faces this year that will add both quality and depth to a pretty veteran group.  So I think we are all cautiously optimistic about the season but recognize it's a long season and our only focus is to control the things that are under our control and get better every single day that we are together."
 
The defending conference champion Lions earned 9 of 12 first place votes and 116 points to earn the preseason top spot in the GSC.
 
Spring Hill (102) followed in second while Mississippi College (99), Alabama Huntsville (83) and West Florida (79) rounded out the top five.  Montevallo landed in sixth with 71 points while the Flames were just one point back in seventh.

"I feel much more equipped heading into my second season in the GSC where I have a much better feel for the other programs, the quality of those teams, and the challenges we will face as a team," remarked Potteiger.  "I don't think that makes any game any easier, we will still have to go out and earn every point possible in those games, but we all believe we are capable of being a relevant team in the conference this year."

The Flames will open up on the road in the Sunshine State as they battle Florida Tech on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. before heading to Embry-Riddle on Saturday, Sept. 1. Lee concludes a three-match road trip to start the year on Sept. 5 as it visits Lincoln Memorial.
 
The Flames will play their next five matches at the Lee Soccer Field starting with the home-opener on Saturday, Sept. 8 against Bellarmine at 5 p.m.
 
The GSC opener is slated for Sept. 15 as Lee welcomes rival Shorter to town for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Flames will wrap up the GSC regular season with a trip to preseason favorite West Alabama on Oct. 21.

Two new faces will join Potteiger on the sidelines this season to help lead the Flames. Potteiger announced the hiring of Torrey Stricklin as the new assistant coach back on Mar. 20. Stricklin came to Lee after a successful playing career for coach Potteiger at Gordon College (2012-2016).

After graduating in 2016 Stricklin served on staff at Brown University as an assistant coach in 2017 and was also a coach for a top club team in the New England Revolution Academy. Stricklin has his national coaching diploma from the United Soccer Coaches.

"I've known Derek for several years and loved playing for him so I jumped at the opportunity to join his staff here at Lee," said Stricklin. "We have built a great relationship both on and off the field. I love his vision and the culture he is establishing here at Lee."

"I am thrilled to have Torrey join the Lee men's soccer family.  He and I have known each other for quite some time as I initially recruited Torrey to the Naval Academy and then fortunately got to coach him for three years when I moved to Gordon College," said Potteiger. "He was a key player and a team captain at Gordon during one of the most successful spells the men's soccer program ever had, and then immediately jumped into the coaching realm after graduating."
 
After a decorated playing career for the Lee men's soccer team from 2013-2016, Quade Marinell returns to the Flames as the Graduate Assistant Coach this season.

Marinell was named All-GSC Second Team his senior season after scoring six goals. He finished his career with 27 goals and 17 assists.

Marinell graduated from Lee in 2017 and is currently pursuing his Master's in Education with a focus on curriculum and instruction. 

"I'm thrilled to be adding Quade to our staff.  I didn't have the opportunity to Coach Quade but the impact he had on the program as a player both on the field and off is still evident," noted Potteiger. "To bring someone like Quade, who had tremendous success here and genuinely loves the University and soccer program, back as a Coach is a real benefit to all of us here and no question he will be a great asset to the group."

PREP SCHEDULES

FOOTBALL     FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19 Father Ryan at Baylor Bradley at William Blount Brainerd at Tyner Central at Hixson Notre Dame at Chattanooga Christian Cleveland at Ooltewah East Hamilton at Anderson Co. East Ridge at Howard Grace at Mt. Juliet Christian Sunbright at Lookout Valley Loudon at Marion ... (click for more)

Dalton State Men Defeat Faulkner, 2-1

Dalton State ended a four game losing streak and got back to their winning ways with a 2-1 win over Faulkner (Ala.) in a crucial SSAC match at Lakeshore Park Soccer Complex on Saturday evening. Ball possession would be the Roadrunners friend in the first half as they would control the pace of the match from the onset. Shots from Kevin Villatoro and Tyler Hudson would miss their ... (click for more)

City Placing New Penalties On Use Of Cell Phones In School Zone And By Drivers Under 18

The city is setting new penalties for use of cell phones in school zones.  Drivers 18 and older may not use hand-held devices while in the zones, but they can be on their hands-free units. Another section of an ordinance change would not allow those 18 and under to be talking on a cell phone while driving. That includes even if the device is hands-free. The ordinance ... (click for more)

Rhea Puppy Mill Dogs Slowly Recovering From Years Of Abuse, Neglect

Five days after Watson and 108 other dogs were rescued from a dark, filthy puppy mill in Rhea County, the frightened 12-pound Yorkie mix doesn’t look like the same animal. Watson got lucky; he was one of the 28 puppy mill survivors that wound up at Chattanooga’s Humane Educational Society. There, volunteer groomers from Pet Smart shaved away the heavy, massive tangle of ... (click for more)

Walker County Needs A Board Of Commissioners

On Nov. 6, voters in Walker County, Ga. will vote on a referendum to determine if the county will move to a five person board of commissioners or stay with a sole commissioner form of government. The referendum is the result of several years of debate and discussion within the county. In 2012,  Dr. Paul Shaw, in his attempt to unseat then-Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Coach Who Said ‘No’

I couldn’t tell you the first time I met John Gagliardi … 30 years ago? 40? … and I never saw him nearly enough. He was a Division III football coach at some monastery of a place in Minnesota and that’s a long way from the Southeastern Conference. Our orbits rarely overlapped but somewhere down the line we were at the same table for dinner. Once that happened, it seemed like the ... (click for more)