New position. New coach, the fourth in four years. And new teammates, including a freshman sister.
Wheeler senior Alexa Fratzke has handled them all with admirable ease.
"It can never be too much," the Bearcats striker said. "Every soccer team I'm on, I look at them as family. I'll always be there any time they need me. ... That's the fun of the game."
The four-year varsity player had 17 goals last season, and she opened her final prep campaign with a hat trick and an assist against Hobart on Aug. 13. She's hasn't scored since, but she's added an assist — to her sister Lauren — and the Bearcats (4-0) remain unbeaten.
"She positions herself pretty well," said Wheeler coach Bryan Murray, who moved from LaPorte this season. "She doesn't try to force things. She has the strongest say of anyone in our matches."
"She's by far the most versatile player (on the team)."
Fratzke played defense as a freshman, outside midfield as a sophomore and center midfield last year.
"The whole game you're attacking, just doing things in a different manner," said Fratzke, who started to play at age 2. "Everyone gets a high off scoring goals, but I think defenders don't get the credit they deserve."
Murray gives Fratzke some credit with keeping things together through another coaching change.
"I knew it would be a different sell, but I want to maintain some fluidity," he said. "Early on, we had some rough practices, but the seniors have bought in. (Fratzke) has been about as good as anyone both on and off the field."
Fratzke is now in more of a leadership role. She's been taking notes from past experiences — and adding a little personal flair.
"I saw them leading, and I now I want to fill those shoes." Fratzke said. "I also wanted to put my spin on it. I'm definitely intense, and I expect a lot from myself.
"I try to tell the girls that after the game I'll be their friend, but during the game I expect something out of each of them."
The Bearcats have nine freshmen on the entire 25-player roster; at least seven have already scored in a varsity match. Lauren Fratzke has three goals and four assists.
Alexa realizes some sibling tension exists, but she's also grounded in the understanding that this issue cannot cloud her role as a leader to younger teammates.
"I definitely look at my sister with a higher standard; there's a little rivalry there, but we compete with one another and make each other better," Alexa said. "I also look (at the freshman class) as a whole. I just want to win games and do what I can to make the team better."