Polk County High School will field a girls’ soccer team starting this year.
The team will play in District 5-A/AA, which includes 2010 state participant McMinn Central and other solid programs in Boyd-Buchanan and Silverdale Baptist, but Zach Swafford, who will be the Polk coach, is excited about the opportunity.
Swafford already has a 10-game schedule with eight games on the road as the Benton school tries to get suitable facilities. Contests against Class AAA schools Bradley Central, Walker Valley and McMinn County are included.
“I have a vision that we’ll be a competitive team,” Swafford said. “I want to show Polk County that there’s something else out there besides our football team. There’s never been anything for our girls because our county is ruled by football.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t have a program, and we have some good girls coming up from the middle school.”
Swafford, who prepped under current McMinn Central coach Bill McConkey, knows the progress of building a program won’t be easy.
“We’re going to be starting from scratch,” he said. “Right now, there’s no funding, but we want to get to the point where we’re competitive. I understand the fact we’re going to be using a handful of freshmen, so it’s going to be a new experience for me to take some losses.”
Swafford will be having tryouts during school Tuesday. He said that whatever the Lady Wildcats might lack in skill, they’ll make up for in conditioning.
“If nothing else, we’re going to be in really good shape,” he said.