The Essex Trojans won the conference 43 title in 2016. Their team was top heavy with eleven seniors, so they will have to pull up some youngsters to fill those positions. The Trojans do have a returning goalie and mid-fielder that have played together for two years. The coaching staff will look to them to provide on field leadership. If they hope to repeat as champions, the first-year starters will have to show improvement on the pitch as soon as the whistle blows. The Rappahannock Raiders upset the Trojans in the 2016 regional tournament with an outstanding defensive effort. Returning defensive player of the year Chris Fols will have a new goalie tending the net, and this means a different voice making the calls. The Raiders will most likely shuffle a few players around to put the best ball handlers in positions to control the game. The Lancaster Red Devils, Northumberland Indians, and the Rappahannock Panthers all have been chasing the top two teams for the past four seasons. They’ll need to improve their on-ball play and striking to get close to the other teams.
On the lady’s side, the Rappahannock Lady Panther have been ahead of the three other teams. The Lady Panthers have a tough schedule, so they will be tested when it comes time for tournament play. The Essex Lady Trojans, Northumberland Lady Indians, and Lancaster Lady Red Devils will attempt to close the gap on the Lady Panthers. With the turnover on the three teams, the players that come up will be counted on to give a max effort for their team to win it all. Conference 43 play begins this week March 13.