Ellington boys' soccer getting experience on the way
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington - posted Thu., Sep. 26, 2013
Ellington High School boys' soccer coach Roy Gurnon admits that it will be a challenge to improve upon last year’s record of 12-3-2 and a trip into the quarterfinals of the Class M tournament. The Knights lost 10 players to graduation, and returns many players who did not see a lot of time on the pitch last season.
“We’re young and inexperienced,” Gurnon said, adding that his players are working hard to overcome that. “We have guys who are trying to do the right things, so we can’t really ask more than that,” he said. “We’ve just got to understand more of the nuances of the game. There’s a lot of stuff they just haven’t been exposed to.”
In an effort to get the players more experience, Gurnon said he is still experimenting with players’ positions, trying to find the right fit for everyone. In practices and games, the emphasis is on getting players to move at the right times, setting up combinations and teaching field awareness.
“We still have some watching the game, instead of playing the game,” Gurnon said. “We need to be thinking a couple of steps ahead.”
Some of it appears to be paying off, as the Knights capitalized on errors by SMSA (Sports and Medical Sciences Academy) for three of their four goals, and clamped down defensively, in the 4-0 clean sheet on Sept 23.
Gurnon also seems to be applying the right sort of optimism, which, in turn, should pay dividends as it sinks in for the players. “We could certainly make the state tournament,” Gurnon said. “You never know what’s going to happen if you make it to the state tournament. But, we’ve got a lot of work to do to get there.”
Each game, Gurnon said, will be a test for the Knights, but hopefully one from which they learn a lesson.
Ellington plays at Canton on Oct. 5, and at Somers on Oct. 8. For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.