The Pittsburg High soccer team made its public debut Tuesday night, as did new head coach Sean Lauderdale, in the annual Purple and White Scrimmage. The varsity squared off against the JV for roughly 90 minutes, giving the Purple Dragons some live action before their season opener Friday in Paola, a 4:30 p.m. start. “They played very well,” Lauderdale said in his evaluation of the scrimmage. “The JV team has a lot of new players, I mean new players who have just walked on and played very little organized soccer. They were able to keep it together and make a real nice showing. I'm really happy with the JV squad. I can see they've executed some of the things we've been working on in practice, including being able to be mature with the ball, being comfortable making runs with the ball and then being able to make the right pass and set up goal-scoring situations. “I was very happy with the way the varsity played and I'm very comfortable going into the match with (Paola). There's a few things we need to tweak here and there but I really like how they're playing and they showed a lot of confidence with the ball. They'll have stiffer competition in Paola but I'm much more confident to see them get their legs under them for an entire match.” Lauderdale shared his starting lineup for the match Friday: Edrey Havens right outside midfielder, Trevin Jameson right fullback, Shelby Heikes center back, Keaton Wilber left center back, Lukas McConnell left fullback, Diego Luna defensive mid, Ricky Sanchez attacking mid, Moira Myers forward, Jose Ayala forward, Danny Castillo left outside mid and Sullivan Lauderdale goalkeeper. Sean Lauderdale, an assistant professor of psychology and counseling at Pittsburg State, has been coaching Midwest Soccer — a club team based in Joplin — for the past decade. “I have been surprised because sometimes players will kind of struggle when there's a coaching change but all of the players have been amenable and willing to try new things and even to try different positions where they haven't typically played through their soccer career,” Lauderdale said. “I have some defensive players who are playing forward or offensive positions and they've been very comfortable taking it on. I've been real happy with them trying new stuff.” Ayala scored three goals, one of the highlights of the scrimmage. The buzz Tuesday around the soccer field was that Brazilian exchange student Danilo Pinheiro, last year's leading goal scorer, will return to Pittsburg after Labor Day for his senior year. “That's what we're hearing,” Lauderdale said. “I'm looking forward to that opportunity if Danilo comes back. I had the chance to coach him last winter at the competitive club level and I feel confident we were able to help him learn some new things about the game that's going to help make him a stronger player. If he comes back to the squad, I'm looking forward to having him execute some of the things he's learned. Even in the short time we worked together, I saw some real important gains in his understanding of the game and the American style of the game. He'll be able to work in the system.”