Eagles aim to improve
NEW ULM The New Ulm boy’s soccer team had another rough season under its belt with a record of 4-12. This season the Eagles are looking for a .500 record from coach Jack Gronholz in his eighth year of coaching.
Gronholz initially stepped down and retired from the Eagles soccer team until two weeks from the start of practice the Eagles were still looking for a coach.
Gronholz stepped down as a head coach because he didn’t think he could allocate enough time for the team yet alone his other jobs.
“It’s a big challenge trying to juggle your other jobs and then trying to have enough time for these kids that work so hard,” Gronholz said. “I have so much chemistry with the team, I’ll just have to work on time management.”
During the summer, Gronholz used to watch his players play on teams and watch them progress, but he didn’t have the chance this summer. The team has the skills and knowledge this season to succeed, but is still young.
As a young team, the Eagles still have experience. It will be a player for player with a strong and solid line on defense, at midfield and forward.
“We represent the town of New Ulm, so when we travel I want the team to have respect for the opponents’ coaches and players,” Gronholz said. “The team needs to have respect for themselves as well as a team and everyone around them.”
The returning seniors are Alex King as the Eagles’ goalie and Broderick Brown as a captain for the Eagles. Other returning players are Noah Webb, Josh Koelpin, Tim Plocher and Daniel Wessel.
Wessel, Brown and Koelpin will be the Eagles’ captains this season and lead the team to a hopeful winning season.
New to the varsity team, but bringing even more experience to the Eagles will be Alex Bumgarner, Christian Linan, Justus Mors’chauser, Jacob Rakoczy and Silas Doses.
“This will be the first year we have a sub-rotation and be able to keep the lines strong” Gronholz said. “We are mentally strong, experienced and with our quality starters, I will be surprised to see this team under .500.”
Gronholz wants to work on scoring more goals this season and having a better record. The better record will come to the Eagles with the foot and shooting skills as well as their dexterity on their feet.
“Life is full of challenges, you lose more than you win,” Gronholz said. “I am building relationships with the players and imprinting myself on them.”
Wessel in his second year for playing with the Eagles wants not only to have a better record, but work on conditioning to become a fit team.
“If we form team relations we can carry on for teams to come for the future,” Wessel said. “Leadership will help build the team to become stronger together.”
Wessel will play on the defensive line where he is a vocal player. He assumes and commands in the back field while anticipating where the ball goes.
“Talking is an issue,” Wessel said. “You can never have too much talk out there on the field.”
Brown coming into play for his fourth year for the Eagles will play forward. Brown, as a senior along with Koelpin, has asked the juniors to step up and help lead the team, have a fun successful year, but also be serious about the game.
Brown is working on knowing where the ball should be and where the ball will be going on the field.
“We need to have ball control, it’s huge in this game,” Brown said. “A good defense is a good offense. When you’re passing you have to know where and to who you’re passing to.”
Koelpin is good at knowing what’s going on and has good control of the ball. He is vocal on the field and a great leader to help build the team and become a stronger team.
“We are going to grow as a team, even through the rough patches,” Koelpin said. “We have a tough schedule this year, mainly Tuesdays and Thursdays, so we need to be consistent and fresh when we play.”
Koelpin loves to have control of the ball, and is working on completing more of his passes than last season. His goal is to not let the ball get back so the Eagles can take control of possession and win the game.
“As long as we have a strong leading team, with the juniors stepping up, we should be a good experienced team,” Koelpin said. “Yes, we are young, but with the experience and the goals we can set we believe we can be the winning team.”