Hotshots first in their league
by The Press and Standard | November 6, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: November 6, 2019 at 10:36 am
The Hotshots (Walterboro Soccer Club 06/07 Boys team) moved into first place in the U14 Open League with a 6-0-1 record, beating out teams from Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Sumter. The Hotshots are coached by Andrew Floresca and Larry Wiggins.
“To play the way we play requires the players to be at a certain level, and this season is the culmination of the past four or five seasons of just flat out losing,” said Coach Larry Wiggins, one of the team’s founders. “The difference with this team is that the players always saw their progression and so did the parents. The previous two seasons we had games where parents recognized we could have, and should have, won. Now the Hotshots are winning those games and no longer playing down to their opponents. They are consistent and this season is the culmination of the laboring of Coach Drew and me.”
When Coach Andrew Floresca and Coach Wiggins formed the Hotshots team, most of the players already had a bad experience with playing competitive soccer. Many had tried and were turned off to the idea of playing academy soccer again. Having started a successful 08/09 boys’ team the previous season gave Coach Wiggins a little momentum with some families to start this 06/07 boys team. By the time this team started, the coaches and the future Director of Coaches Frank Prentiss had decided the club would commit to specific principles of playing across teams. These principles have been guiding the academy and select teams since.
Coach Floresca said, “We have a great group of young men who work extremely hard for their goals, both on and off of the field. Coach Larry and I are very proud of the men they are becoming and the progress that they have made over the past few seasons. We have a great opportunity to be one of the first Wildfire teams to win our division without a single loss this season. We have two more remaining games that will determine if we win our division or come in second place overall. This time last year, we hadn’t even achieved our first win and our best finish in the season was two tied games. The remaining games were losses. To me that speaks volumes to the character, determination, and effort that these young men bring into every practice and game.”
“The Hotshots endured loss after loss, season after season, all the while playing with heart and dedication to better themselves,” said Shelby Padgett, Hotshots team manager. “They watched other teams achieve success and wondered how long it would be before they too would see it. They did not quit and believed in their coaches, team and themselves. They became brothers and learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They are finally experiencing the results of their hard work and are now seeing what happens when you continue to believe and push through the difficult times. We cannot thank our coaches Larry and Drew enough for believing in our boys and leading them through these invaluable life lessons.”
According to Coach Wiggins, who is also the WSC president, the club has undergone a transformation the last few years. There has been an infusion of fresh ideas that are in line with the way the game is currently played and administered. The club has really developed an identity over the last few years and many larger clubs have taken notice of the progress they have made with the academy and select teams.
The in-house program has also begun to experience change with these new ideas in the form of hiring a skills trainer to work with the players to ensure a foundation is developed. The success has been great; however, in the grand scheme of things there is a lot of work yet to do.
“I am putting an open call out to everyone who has previously played and is an alumni of the Walterboro Soccer Club. Someone had to give of themselves for you to play and had a place to express yourselves during your time at WSC. Many have had to go other places to play. With the additional help, we could keep local players local and provide training and development that rivals any other local club,” said Coach Wiggins. “We are a diverse club with families from all over the world. I want to encourage you to come be a part of the culture building and the family that is the Walterboro Soccer Club.”