The lights are in place at the stadium field at Crisfield High School and plans are for the first night games ever during the fall sports season which also sees the introduction of girls’ soccer as a varsity sport.
“I’ve scheduled three night games for each team,” said Athletic Director Greg Bozman. Boys’ soccer, field hockey and girls’ soccer will get the opportunity to shine with night contests allowing for increased attendance as many parents and fans are unable to arrive at the usual 4 p.m. start time, due to work obligations. Evening games will commence at 6.
The girls had an organized club soccer team for two years but Coach Erin Walbert will ready her squad to play a full Bayside Conference schedule of 12 games. Their first night game will be Wednesday, Sept. 21 against Bennett.
Coach Harold Frock’s boys’ soccer team will open on Tuesday, Sept. 6 — an evening affair — against the Vikings of Cambridge-South Dorchester. “I like the idea of night games, we don’t have to worry about the darkness catching us,” said Frock, whose Crabbers ended regular season play under the lights at the Westover Complex defeating Washington 5-4.
In addition to this long-awaited renovation to the CHS playing field a new floor has been laid in the War Memorial Gym where CHS basketball teams play. The small gym and the stage in the school auditorium have also been refurbished.
Practice is underway and the Lady Crabbers field hockey team has a new head coach. Kate Stevens held her first workout last Wednesday, and she will be assisted by Mandi Barnes. Stevens was a star performer for CHS from 2014 through 2017.
Walbert is in her third season with girls’ soccer, she carried a roster of 13 players last year. The season consisted of practices and one scrimmage game, the majority of Walbert’s players had never played organized soccer.
Crisfield will also carry a cross country team but the coaching position is still unsettled at this time.
Frock returns for his 14th season as the Crabbers’ head soccer coach. No other head coach has more than 3 years at the helm. He was a starter and second leading scorer on the 1999 Regional championship team that advanced to the 1A State semifinal. Frock guided the Crabbers to the 1A State final in 2015.
In 2021 Frock had his first losing season in 10 years, letting leads slip away in the second half. “We’ve got to figure that out this year,” said Frock, who would have finished 9-4 instead of 4-8 on the regular season. The Crabbers last year also did not earn a victory at home.
“We knew we could have done better no wins at home when we were leading at halftime. We know what we’ve got to work on, individually and as a team,” said midfielder Charly Galvan, a rising senior and one of 12 returnees this season. Gone to graduation is leading scorer and South Division First Team pick Ryan Byrd who was responsible for almost 90% of the Crabbers’ offense. Second Team All South defender Jaime Trejo also graduated along with starters Frankie Panzo and Christian East.
“I feel we’re pretty solid all-around but we’ll have a different style this year. We’ll have to be more patient work the ball wait for the moment and get our opportunities. We can’t force the ball and we must keep possession,” said Frock.
The boys gain some extra depth with transfers Cameron Parks, Brady Wieland and Will Holland all incoming juniors and incoming sophomore Tyan Holland. New freshmen Kaiden Thompson and AJ Swift join the squad as well but Frock has two experienced players that are not in camp due to health issues.
“We have to come out in the second half with the same intensity as the first half just keep working hard. This team is very good, we can go far,” said rising senior mid Guillermo Rojas, who along with Galvan are key performers in Frock’s outlook for this season. CHS has a play day this Saturday at Crown in Fruitland.