After a 9-9 campaign in 2022, Ada boys soccer coach Larry Morgan Jr. is hopeful about the Cougars’ chances this spring.
Ada opens the regular season against rival Ardmore at home Thursday, March 2. The boys game will follow the girls game that kicks off at 5:30 p.m.
Sam Rhynes, 2023 team captain by a unanimous team vote, headlines Ada’s returning cast. The 6-foot-1-inch senior midfielder is one of Morgan’s greatest assets.
“Sam is a tremendous all-around athlete. He possesses great technical skills as well as high quality physical attributes,” Morgan says. “He is comfortable attacking the goal or being a playmaker and creating chances for his teammates. . . He takes it upon himself to lead by example and is a model of servant leadership.”
Emilio Benton, a junior midfielder, is another of Ada’s outstanding players and will be Rhynes’ vice captain.
“[Benton] has an extraordinary creative mind and can make every type of pass there is,” Morgan says. “Emi is one of the most coachable players I’ve come across and possesses a very advanced understanding of the game and generally is thinking three to four moves ahead with every play he makes.”
Junior left back Carlos Morales is the team’s “workhorse.”
“During a game, [Morales] is laser focused and always involved in the play on both sides. He is a lethal attacking option at left back and has an almost limitless engine,” Morgan says.
Ada fans should get used to hearing Michael Leubscher’s name called. The sophomore wing has “all of the tools required” to be a bright spot for Ada this season.
“Michael is a highly gifted athlete who possesses exceptional physical traits as well as excellent technical skill,” Morgan says. “Michael can be effective attacking from the wing or the middle of the park and can also provide support with his long throws. Despite being one of our tallest players, he still has remarkable speed.”