MIAMI — Miami High School graduate Kenton Adams takes the reins of the Lady Wardog soccer program.

Adams, a 2008 MHS graduate, takes over as the girls’ coach from David Douthit.

The Lady Wardogs open the 2018 season Friday, March 2, at Red Robertson Field against Wagoner.

Adams assisted Douthit last season.

“I am excited,” Adams said. “I do a lot of things the way Coach Douthit did before but I like to have control of what I do myself.”

Adams takes over a team that went 6-9 and lost to Tulsa Holland Hall 4-2 in a first-round Class 4A playoff game.

That’s the first time both Miami teams qualified for the post-season play since 2012.

“We have a chance to do really well this year,” Adams said. “I think we are going to have the most athletic starting 11 that our girls team has had in the last four or five years.

“We’ve got a lot of young skilled players that are going to give us a lot of minutes. We’ve got a lot of athletes all around.”

The Lady Wardogs have only three seniors: midfielder Ramsee Allemann and strikers Rebecca Bell and Madison Schnakenberg.

The Lady Wardogs’ roster includes 27 players, including 22 varsity performers.

They finished the 2017 season with only 18.

Bell, sophomore mid-striker Abby Ishmael and junior goalie Alexa Payne are among the returnees.

Payne has earned all-district honors the past two seasons, “so I hope she keeps getting better and better.”

Freshman Beca Hopping is also expected to contribute at center-mid, Adams said.

“She is an exciting player,” he said.

Last year, Wagoner (15-4) reached the Class 4A championship game only to fall to Santa Fe South 4-1 in the championship game.

The Lady Bulldogs rolled to a 4-0 win over Miami in the ’17 opener.

“I know they have a lot of talent,” Adams said. “It will be a good first game for us to see where we are in relation to the upper-tier teams.

The Lady Wardogs had only one scrimmage to date, going 1-0-2 at Grove.

“I saw a lot of good stuff at the tournament,” Adams said.

Scrimmages with Victory Christian and Verdigris were cancelled.