LEROY — The Pine River High School soccer team could be one of, if not the most unique group of student-athletes in the local area.

While a vast majority of schools that offer soccer at the varsity level have a boys team that plays during the fall and a girls team that takes the pitch each spring.

For the Buck soccer program, which is considerably smaller than any other squad in its region, there is but one coed team.

While it might be unorthodox for the area, it’s necessary for smaller programs to consolidate their teams down to one, and with soccer being a varsity sport for boys and girls, many programs across the nation have followed in PR’s steps.

Regardless of the team makeup, it is an extremely supportive group of kids who are there for one another for more than just the duration of each match.

“A lot of teams will wear shirts that say ‘family’ — we live it,” coach Dave Fisher said. “We’ve been handed a lot of adversity this year with injuries, with football players coming and leaving, and the kids just keep going.”

Fisher said he looks to seniors CorNesha Holmes and McKenzie Sang for leadership in games and in practice.

Both Holmes and Sang agreed that playing on a coed team has its disadvantages at times, but that can mostly be attributed to inaccurate, oftentimes rude assumptions that disregard the individual and his or her respective talent.

It can sometimes translate on the pitch to more-assertive-than-average game play from PR’s opponents or even the exact opposite.

“You have to prepare for that, because guys are a little bit rough sometimes,” Holmes said. “Coach prepares us for that.”

Sang pointed out that it’s not always the case.

“Sometimes they also say: ‘It’s a girl; go easy on her,’ so sometimes it’s an advantage,” Sang said.

On Wednesday evening, the Bucks played host toCheboygan, dropping the match 5-0.

It was the ninth game of the season for Fisher’s team, whose record now stands at 1-8 overall.

With two more weeks left in the regular season, the pair of seniors said they believe the team as a whole can finish strong and earn a few more positive results.

“Just keep on improving; maybe win a few more games here and there, but definitely keep on improving as we go,” Holmes said.

Sang said she felt this year’s team is performing better than it did a season ago.

Fisher said he thought his team played very well, especially considering it was the debut of a new defensive formation that’s received little attention in practice.

“Today we took a big jump on our improvement,” Fisher said. “I just changed a couple things up real quick and created a new defense and they executed it perfectly. “We’re just going to keep wrangling and hope we can pick up a couple more wins.”