As a first-year program, Hough's soccer team has emphasized much more than technique and formations.
The Huskies' main focus has been learning to play together.
"We've been having to get everybody on the same page," said David Smith, the Huskies' head coach. "It's been an adjustment, but it's gone pretty well so far."
Most of the players on the team played against each other while attending North Mecklenburg and Hopewell, but defender Eric Livingston said that playing alongside his former rivals hasn't been hard.
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"You could even say it's normal, because a lot of us have played on travel teams before," said the former Viking. "It's been really fun."
The Huskies started working out this summer at least twice a week to get the team prepared for the season.
Smith said the team, which is 2-4 as of Sept. 3, has done well so far considering that they're just getting used to playing together and don't have a senior class.
Two of Hough's losses came against soccer powerhouses South Mecklenburg and Myers Park, which are both ranked amongst the state's top five 4A soccer teams.
Smith explained that there's a lot of room for improvement for his young Huskies, who have given up 21 goals while only tallying nine of their own.
"We need to get everybody's work ethic on the same level," he said. "Once we get there, it's only going to get better."
Smith said he's been impressed by Livingston as well as fellow juniors Nathaniel Goodwin and Santiago Patiño.
The former Vance coach said he not only likes these players' work on the field, but also that they've taken leadership roles on the team. Goodwin and Patiño were as selected team captains.
Smith hopes his Huskies can be competitive in their first go-around in the I-Meck Conference. His goal for the season is to contend for a playoff spot.
Goodwin said the team should improve as the season continues because of the attitude the Huskies have taken.
"We have a desire to win and to get better every day," said the 16-year-old Lake Norman Charter transfer. "We all work well together."
Patiño said he's already seen his team getting better.
"We've definitely gotten more disciplined as we go," the 16-year-old said.
Patiño hopes this year's version of the team can reach its potential, and he knows they could pull off some surprises this season.
"We're definitely going to win games we shouldn't against the North Mecks and the Lake Normans," he said. "Every single game, we'll have to go in as the underdogs and play our butts off out there."
But regardless of how the season goes, Smith knows the future of Hough's soccer program is bright.
Next season, the team should have all of their squad back and add some newcomers.
Beyond that, the sky's the limit for the Huskies.
"This is a very soccer-rich area," said Smith, explaining that he had 50 players try out for the team this year, an abnormally high number for a first-year school.
Smith knows the talent in the area will be a huge factor for what he hopes will be the building of a strong program.
"We want to compete for conference titles every year and make deep runs into the playoffs," he said. "We want to play for a state championship some day."
Patiño said that with Smith, the team should thrive.
"He's a really good coach," said the former Hopewell player. "He really knows what he's doing."
The players are excited about the possibilities and the opportunities.
"It's a new school, so it's really nice to make new traditions," said Livingston. "It's nice to be part of that."