CHARLOTTESVILLE — One hundred and twelve days prior to his team’s first official practice, Jeremy Powers is already hearing the doubters.
With seven seniors and nearly 82 percent of the scoring departed from the Royals’ 2013-14 outfit that finished 17-5 for the second straight season, some apparently expect EH to take a step back in 2014-15.
That’s not the way the Royals’ fourth-year coach sees it.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘You won’t be very good. You’re going to have to rebuild,’” said Powers, 46-19 through three seasons in Charlottesville. “We’re reloading; we’re not rebuilding. I honestly feel we’ll be just as good.”
For the first time next winter, Powers won’t be relying on the Kiersten Schrope-Hannah Best-Kristin Eischen-Alora Marshall-Lauren Harmon core. As freshmen the year before Powers arrived, that quintet finished 3-17. They went 12-11 during Powers’ initial campaign before making a giant leap their junior and senior seasons.
Now, they’re gone. But Powers insists that talent remains, and he’s seen enough during EH’s busy summer schedule to feel confident in that assertion.