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Soccer’s Surprising Season with Senior Strength

New Coach Gerhardt Leads Boys to Best Start in Years

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Photo Courtesy Pastor Photo

Photo Courtesy Pastor Photo

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Pastor Photography,LLC H

Photo Courtesy Pastor Photo

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“Respect, Sportsmanship, and Fair Play!” This is a quote that new boys head soccer coach, Mr. Mario Gerhardt lives by, and this ensures the rest of his stellar soccer team does the same. West G’s boys soccer, 2017 version, has a current record of 5-1-2. For those who don’t understand sport, this means the team has won 5, lost 1, and tied 2 games.

They prepared for this season by participating in summer “friendlies” in Twinsburg and tournaments in Canfield, Alliance, and Strongsville, using the 10 days they are permitted by OHSAA regulations for training sessions. In addition, on Wednesday evenings, the players met to scrimmage versus each other. Since last year, the team has improved greatly and Coach Gerhardt shared some of their secrets as to why: “We try to pass the ball to create goal scoring chances. We play what is referred to ball oriented defending. Instead of worrying what opposing players are doing, we concentrate on the ball. We defend the ball. By keeping it away from our goal, we try to prevent our opponents from creating goal scoring chances.” This, he added, is soccer, “…the way it is supposed to be played.” Junior Mohammed Aidja backed that up, noting, “This is the best season I’ve had since my freshman year and the best I’ve seen in my three years at West Geauga.”

After playing alongside each other for so many years, the boys have linked up as a family and matured together, making them a completely new team than the one from last year. Goalkeeper and team captain, Adam Riedel, said, “Staring out undefeated through 6 games was something that no one on the team had felt before. It is amazing to see all of us who have been playing so long come together and win games.” He credits their new system, the “ball oriented defending” for their success this season. So far, their goals for this year don’t seem too out of reach: have a winning season, win the CVC, and make a deep run in the state playoff’s. With how hardworking the boys are, in addition to the drilling by Coach Gerhardt, no one would be too shocked if they managed to grasp these ideals.

There isn’t much time left to go catch a game so make plans soon! There are several seniors this season who need support and cheers during their last year on the field. Adam Riedel, keeper; Jake Curtis, defender; Joey Conrad, defender; Ryan Hodgins, defender; Angel Rodriguez, midfielder; Ben Kovacic, midfielder; Xavier Zup, attacking midfielder; Jack Dorsky, forward, Thomas Magalski, who tore his ACL in the spring, and currently is not playing.

The next game is at Beachwood on Saturday with JV at 1 and varsity at 3. The next home game is versus Chagrin Falls on Tuesday with the JV at 5 and varsity at 7.

Come out and support your classmates and friends!

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