The Chickasha High School boys soccer team lost its regular season opening game at Carl Albert on Tuesday night.
The Fightin' Chicks (0-1) are still in an early stage of development, and Carl Albert provided a high level of competition right off the bat for the team.
"Doesn't get much tougher," head coach Scott Parkinson said. "If it was me, I probably wouldn't have had them play Carl Albert the first game out, but it was a game we had to honor."
The Fightin' Chicks lost 3-0, but Parkinson said there are benefits to starting the year off with a game like that.
"I think we've played a state champion this year and two state semifinalists, it's good to see the boys in real difficult situations having to problem-solve the games themselves and under high pressure," Parkinson said. "We know that when we get into districts, the competition level is going to drop slightly, and hopefully they'll se the game comes a lot easier to them.
"It's a baptism of fire, but it should ease up," he said.
The Chickasha boys graduated some of their most productive players last season, including goalkeeper Jeral Willetts, midfielders Jaime Ruiz and Hunter Bailey and forward Ben Sanders.
Ruiz and Sanders were responsible for much of the offense last season, and the Chicks are still looking for the players who will step into those roles this year.
"We're still not sure on our personnel yet what our strongest team is, and we're asking the players to basically step up and use the 10 hours a week of practice to show they deserve a spot," Parkinson said. "It's keeping the competition for places fairly strong."
Some of the players that have stood out early in the season include seniors Nathan Stewart, Devin Warden and Kyle Mosley, goalkeeper Harrison Ford and sophomore Cooper Mosley and Devin Warden.
Chickasha's next game is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12 at Del City High School. The girls will play at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 7:30.