Knights banking on team effort for season's success

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington - posted Thu., Sep. 6, 2012
Ellington senior Andrew Parker heads the ball in the scrimmage vs. E.O. Smith on Sept. 5. Photos by Steve Smith.
Ellington senior Andrew Parker heads the ball in the scrimmage vs. E.O. Smith on Sept. 5. Photos by Steve Smith.

After the pre-season friendly game against E.O. Smith on Sept. 5, coach Roy Gurnon said he was very pleased with his Ellington High School boys’ varsity soccer team. “It was a very good outing,” he said. “We shared the ball well, found the open man and didn’t hold onto the ball for too long. It was good soccer to watch.”

Gurnon said the defense was also tight, only being exposed on a couple of occasions, but the Knights’ goalies were still able to keep the sheet clean.

With nine talented seniors on the pitch, the experience level is high, but Gurnon said this season’s team is not relying on any star players, but rather a full team effort, which utilizes each player’s talents. Speed, for example, is not across the board, but the quicker players will be used at key moments.

“We have our options,” Gurnon said. “At times, we’re speedy, but that’s not what we are. We want to mix it up. Sometimes we’re short possession, sometimes it’s the long diagonals. That’s good - it shows the maturity of their decisions.”

With five sophomores and a half a dozen juniors, the make-up of the squad on the field will almost always span age groups, but Gurnon said it will be his team’s ability to be a cohesive unit, regardless of which players are in, that will take them far this season.

“It’s got to be consistent,” he said. “Sometimes someone will get something in their head that’s not team-oriented. I don’t foresee that happening, but if it does, that would concern us. It’s just about keeping focused.”

With a few tests on the schedule, including the always-strong programs of Suffield (last season’s Class M champion), Avon, Granby and Somers (last-season’s Class S champion), Gurnon said the Knights’ season won’t be easy, but that his team won’t be pushovers, either.

“I’d like to think we give anybody a game,” Gurnon said.

The Knights’ season opens with Canton on Sept. 11 and then the team travels to Bolton on Sept. 14.

For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.


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