HEBRON ESTATES - The players will be easily recognizable, but once again local soccer fans might have to look twice to see who is coaching the North Bullitt Lady Eagles this season.
For the third straight season, there will be a new coach on the sideline for the green and gold as Justin Maddock takes over. Maddock will be the third coach for the program in as many years and fourth in five years. Still, one new face, even such an important post, is not diminishing the optimism for the Lady Eagles this season. With only a handful of player losses from last season’s 11-5-2 squad, the green and gold expect to contend for post-season honors this fall. The big loss was the graduation of Heather Stillwell who is now on a full scholarship at the University of Evansville. The new addition is Maddock who will be coaching high school soccer in Kentucky for the first time. He grew up in Cincinnati playing soccer and then spent two years at Cincinnati State Junior College before transferring to Union College and playing two years in that program. Maddock began coaching in his third year at Union when he was the school’s student assistant coach. After a short-stint of playing semi-pro indoor soccer, Maddock has coached the past four years in the Fairfield Optimist Soccer Club, working with both Under-15 and Under-16 teams. The move to Kentucky came when his fiance got a teaching position in the Hardin County school system where she will be the assistant coach at John Hardin High School. Maddock would like to teach (elementary ages) in the area, but as of now is just working as a substitute teacher. Maddock is not that much older than the majority of players on his roster. What could well be the best North Bullitt girls’ team yet, has 11 seniors. “They are definitely a good group of girls,” Maddock said toward the end of a practice last week. “This is a group that has good (soccer) skills. “As a first-year head coach I feel the only thing that is overwhelming is the paperwork,” the coach new coach added. “Other than that I feel good about what I know to coach them.” Once more, North Bullitt is in a strong district with the three Nelson County teams along with what should be improved squads at Bullitt East and Bullitt Central. The Lady Eagles were a shoot-out away from a district final three years ago, but they have lost in the semi-finals the past two years. No North Bullitt girls’ soccer team has played in a district final. The Lady Eagles should have some offensive power this year led by senior forwards Lindsey Shepherd and Claudia Lopez. Help up front could also come from senior Taylor Heltsley when she is not playing goalkeeper. In the middle of the field there is also lots of experience led by senior Morgan Stuck and junior Helen Heines along with sophomores Halee Heltsley and Kristin Mulliniks. On the defensive end, either Heltsley or junior Elizabeth Grant will be the goalie. Maddock will use four defensive players in front of the goal and that group will come from six players including seniors Krista Hefty, Kristin Johnson, Lindsey Horton, Kaleigh Hockenbury, Carmyn McHargue or sophomore Tessa Davidson. Maddock plans on using a lot of players. He also called off the names of seniors Kim Mingus and Sheridan Hamilton as being able to play a lot of different positions along with sophomore Hannah Castile as well as freshmen Myranda Druien and Devan Bennington. The Lady Eagles will certainly play the most challenging schedule in their history. “That’s good,” Maddock said. “The good thing about a tough schedule is the only way to get better is facing good competition. You don’t always want to be winning by five or six goals. You want to be ready for tough competition when you face them.” Maddock does have an assistant coach as he will be helped by Missy Fox. The Lady Eagles open the season today on the road at Fort Knox.