Mineral Ridge program seeks tourney success

With the 2017 season nearing its end, the Mineral Ridge boys soccer team (11-3) has put together a good couple of years.

In its third year as a varsity team, the Rams have been quite successful. With the district tournament right around the corner, Ridge has been gearing up.

“I think we have a legit chance to win the district tournament,” Mineral Ridge coach Ted Gaydosh said. “As the number two seed, I think our chances to make some heads turn are there.”

The Rams are seeded only behind United Local in the Division III Austintown District. Ridge plays host to Mathews on Tuesday in a sectional first round game.

Gaydosh said that because the program is so young, it has turned heads pretty easily. And, one of a handful of co-ed teams in the area, Gaydosh takes pride in the fact that the Rams have three girls who are starters.

In the three seasons the team has been state-recognized as a varsity team, the Rams have won at least 10 games each year.

“This is a really hard-working group of kids,” Gaydosh said. “Before the season I asked the athletic director if we could schedule some games out of our division. We played Maplewood, who is in division two when we are in division three. I made sure to do something like that to see where the team should be.”

Last year, the Rams were the No. 4 seed in the Kent District and lost to Garfield 2-1 in their first game. Maplewood, which just beat the Rams, 3-1, on Monday night, is seeded second in the Division III Kent District.

“This team’s approach is incredible. They want to win because they all know the team can. This team knows what it will be up against once the tournament starts and that’s so important for me as a coach.”

Beyond expectations, Gaydosh said that the team just expects things out of each other individually.

“The kids do the job I ask of them but they are the ones playing. This success isn’t about me, it is about them no doubt,” Gaydosh said. “With a lot of returning players, I feel the way they all feel. This team has a chance but they need to do the work.”

With seeding already done, Gaydosh said that the Maplewood match and last few matches were great tests for his team to prepare itself for the tournament.