After years leading the Callaway High boys’ soccer team, Matt Leonard stepped aside following the 2012 season, and Jake Hembree has taken his place as the Cavaliers’ head coach.
Hembree’s hope is to keep the program going strong, and so far so good.
Despite a 4-0 setback against Hardaway on Thursday, the Cavaliers are off to a strong start this season with a 4-1 record.
“Being in the shoes of Matt Leonard is tough,” Hembree said. “He’s a really good head coach. He turned (the program) around. They made the playoffs like three or four times under him. I hope I can continue the legacy.”
As the Cavaliers get ready to focus on their region schedule, Hembree wanted his team to face a strong challenge, and that was certainly the case Thursday night.
The Hawks, who feature one of the state’s best goal keepers and an assortment of talented players, improved to 6-0 with the win.
“It’s good to play really good teams,” Hembree said. “You don’t get better unless you play good teams.”
The Cavaliers haven’t played a Region 4-AAA game yet, although they do already have a region win under their belt.
Callaway was supposed to play Douglass earlier this week, but Douglass forfeited because it didn’t have enough players.
The forfeit goes down as a win for the Cavaliers and gives them a 1-0 mark in region play.
Callaway will play its first region match on Tuesday against Jackson.
After years competing in Region 5-AA, Callaway is getting used to a new region this year.
“We’re starting fresh. We’re in a new region, so we don’t really know what to expect,” Hembree said. “We’re looking forward to it.”