GREENVILLE — The Greenville Yellow Jackets soccer team begins the new season in a new conference and with goals of improving.
The Yellow Jackets — now in the O-K Bronze — return five letter winners from last year’s 4-13 (2-8) team. Returning are Neil Frank, Kyle Reamer, Mark Hebert, Ben Golden and Randy Hebert.
Key losses for the Yellow Jackets include Nolan Berry, Jesse Hamman, Mitchell Shaw, Parker Ensing and Luke Wilson. Berry was Greenville’s leading scorer, which leaves Mark Hebert as Greenville’s returning leading scorer.
“We have good team speed and good ball control skills, especially at the forward position,” Greenville coach Chris Hamman said.
Hamman said Greenville will return two defenders that will be key on that end of the field.
“Kyle Reamer and Ben Golden will anchor the defense and that will be at our central defender positions,” he said.
The Yellow Jackets will be looking to improve on controlling the ball in the midfield.
“We need to improve on controlling the ball in the midfield and keeping an overall good team shape so that we can attack effectively, as well and defend our goal,” Hamman said.
Hamman — in his fourth year as varsity coach — believes the team can increase its win total from a year ago. Greenville won the school’s first soccer district title two seasons ago.
“We have the talent and skills to be competitive with the teams on our schedule,” Hamman said. “I believe we can improve on our record from last year.”
He will be looking for his returners to be leaders this year.
“Our returning letter winners will be the heart of the team,” Hamman said. “I will look for them to provide leadership as well as helping the younger players learn to play at the varsity level. Their experience with one or two years of varsity play is invaluable.”
Beginning play in the O-K Bronze, Hamman is expecting tough competition like the O-K White provided.
“It’s our first year in this leave, but I expect teams to be very good and the competition to be very tough,” he said.
The Yellow Jackets will scrimmage Sparta on Friday at Yellow Jacket Stadium and will play its first game on Aug. 22 at home against East Grand Rapids.
Aug. 22 vs. East Grand Rapids, 6:45 p.m.
Aug. 24 at Belding, 11:45 a.m.
Aug. 27 at Lakeview, 4 p.m.
Aug. 29 vs. Kenowa Hills, 6:45 p.m.
Aug. 30 vs. Jenison, 11:45 a.m.