Shown above beginning with the front row, from left to right is Front: Adam Sherrow, Alex Henke, Ben Rhoades. Second Row: Seth Lyskoski, Brennen Slaughter, Joey Vombey, Seferino Francisco-Gonzalez, Mathew Urban, Travis Webb, Dalton Ogden, Mason Cameron. Third Row: Assistant Coach Chris Walls, Brandon Orf, Jacob Braden, Dalton Barber, Ryan Richardson, Grant Pifer, Daniel Johnson, Head Coach Dustin Robinson.
Elsberry Indians Head Soccer Coach Dustin Robinson is on a mission this season to prepare his boy’s for their first potential shot at a District Title. Although it may be too early to predict, he is confident that this is the team to do it.
“We have a lot of juniors and seniors this season, which gives us a ton of leadership on the team,” said Robinson. “I consider us to be more of an upperclassman team this year and I think we have learned a lot from last year.”
Even with a tough schedule, Robinson said he believes it will be a good season for the Elsberry Indians Soccer team.
Offensively, Robinson said Ben Rhoades, who led the team last year with 28 goals, is a kid that plays year round and a lot of the other kids look up to him for leadership.
“Defensively, Adam Sherrow is on our last line of defense,” said Robinson. “He’s a very good defenseman. Also Alex Henke, who along with Sherrow does a good job at being vocal and pushing the guys around them. When kids get tired and a little lazy they do a good job at pumping them back up and getting them to go hard.”
That’s a big part of being successful, according to Robinson. Keeping the ball out of the net defensively is having guys back there that know what to do and what’s going on.
Since last season, one of the big things Robinson said they have worked on is their consistency. One example he gave of this problem was their game against Christian last season. According to him, going into the second half they were up 1-0. Five, 10 minutes into the second half the Indians gave up five goals, then didn’t let Christian score the remainder of the game.
“And that’s kind of the way we were all year,” said Robinson. “We would play 70 solid minutes and we’d have five or ten bad minutes and it would cost us the game.”
Being consistent when they get tired, staying to the inside and containing the ball are the areas he said they would be working on the most. However, with a large number of player s on the field this season, Robinson said it should make for an easier season. Seeing as it takes 11 players to field a team and last season they only had 12, it made it hard to play hard for long periods of time. This year, the Indians will see 16 players on the field, which will allow for more leverage during play.
Another thing Robinson said he has done to help better condition his players is by moving their conditioning routine to the beginning of practice.
“We start every practice with a town route or several laps around the school,” explained Robinson. “Last year, it was my fault being a first year coach, I kind of let the kids convince me a little bit and we didn’t run quite as much. But this year I’ve learned and I think will prove to be a much better season.”
This years Elsberry Indian Soccer team is Adam Sherrow, Alex Henke, Ben Rhoades, Seth Lyskoski, Brennen Slaughter, Joey Vombey, Seferino Francisco-Gonzalez, Mathew Urban, Travis Webb, Dalton Ogden, Mason Cameron, Brandon Orf, Jacob Braden, Dalton Barber, Ryan Richardson, Grant Pifer and Daniel Johnson.
With such a good team in the making and several others waiting their turn to step up, Robinson said he feels good about the soccer program at Elsberry and where it is heading. Their first game is at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3 against Mexico High School. This will be an away game for the Indians.
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