Varsity experience is not a prerequisite for a successful team, yet the presence of veteran players certainly makes a coach's life easier.
Fauquier appears to have more veteran players than Liberty and Kettle Run this spring.
A condensed 10-game schedule won't allow much time for teams to kick into gear and get a top seed for the district tournament on June 3 and 8.
The Fauquier girls soccer squad is composed of varsity returnees, but the overall team still is young.
The Falcons have 13 girls back in the fold out of the 19 earning slots to leave Falcon co-coaches Josh Smith and Sophia Rosales in a more enviable position than their two county rivals, at least for the outset.
"We think that if we do make changes, they'll be very minimal," Smith predicted. "We have a very strong team this year, and we don't want to change things too much if we don't need to."
The list of veterans include Emma Anderson, Katey Bern, Danica Carter, Emma Chesley, Kate Finkbeiner, Lily Finkbeiner, Annamae Lawrence, Jenna Mooney, Makayla Pain, Mya Thomas-Ordenez, Alexia Uribe, Hanna Vereen and Sarah Wright.
Incoming players are Carly McMurphy, Elisa Duca, Marissa Camarca, Kayla Wiarda, Vania Rosales and Riley Lynch.
Smith said the coaches are impressed with the positive aura surrounding this group. He said a preseason meeting found the Falcons want to win at least 70 percent of their games and placed a district title at the bullseye.
"You can really feel something special going to happen this year," Smith projected. He said the balance is solid, but asked, he admitted passing and speed stood the most.
As far as a question on possible flaws, the coach certainly provided an unusual response.
"I know it's a weird thing to say," Smith began. "But needing someone to step up and be more selfish when the team needs it.
"We have a very selfless team which is fantastic. But sometimes we just want someone to take [the burden] upon themselves."I know it's a weird thing to say but needing someone to step up and be more selfish when the team needs it. We have a very selfless team which is fantastic! But sometimes we just want someone to take it upon themselves."
At Liberty, Marc Costanzo said seven of his 14 players make the list as previous varsity team members. While number seems a reasonable base, the coach admits several of those players' varsity experience contains just one varsity scrimmage last spring before the season was canceled.
Leslie Quiroz, Gabby Martinez, Leslie Chavez, Lana Kraiwan, Shelia Goux, Kelly Lloyd and Jazmyn Reynolds form that septet, while Katie Kotulla, Carolyn Maines, Michelle Borja, Caitlin Chaney, Cheyenne Haley, Lilly Coayton and Ellie McGee are this season's newcomers.
"Without having any scrimmages, we will use the first few games to find the best fit," Costanzo said, hopeful the Eagles will "be clicking" by the time the regular-season hits its midpoint. "I am sure we will be moving the girls around a lot, trying to find out the best fit for them and the team.
"Right now we are just trying to evaluate what we have."
Liberty must replace its entire defensive line and the goalkeeper.
The coach expects the Northwestern District to be competitive again.
"Missing last season makes it tough knowing, but I suspect the Winchester teams as they are always strong. Fauquier was young two years ago so they should be solid this year, and Kettle Run is Kettle Run,” Costanzo said.
William Brummett is back at Kettle Run. He was a member of the coaching staff for years and returns to take over the team from Matt Zuras.
Brummett said he has six seniors on hand, but only Cassidy May and Maddy Powers have actual varsity game time.
Caroline Robertson, Charlotte Henkel, Maddie Edwards, Alyssa Scardina, Anabelle Sullivan, Grace Beattie, Emma Smith, Kaylin Warren, Brooklyn Hudak, Alaska Evans, Katie Kuzma, Samantha Malloy, Kellie Wright, Rachel Kersey, Ella Slevin, Kayla Thorpe and Madison Canterbury are the other Cougars.
"At this time, I feel we are a good team and just need to work out some kinks due to missing the season last year," Brummett said, but shuffling might be in order "to hone in and find the best position for some players."
When asked for team strengths, Brummett responded, "I feel we always have a strong team overall."
With regular-season at the doorstep, Brummett has simple goals.
"My goal for the team is to be as competitive as we can be," he said. "And learn from mistakes in each game to make us better throughout the season."