Elks fill holes with talented, technical players
The Elkton boys’ soccer team needs to replace the reigning All-County Player of The Year, as well as two other key pieces from recent seasons.
The challenge is not a new one for second-year head coach Josh Marley.
“Over the last two years, we’ve graduated a number of talented people,” he said. “We’ve been looking at a few people who’ve been stepping up for us.”
The biggest shoes to fill are left by Player of the Year Brady Simon, a three-time All-County striker. Defender Mario Moreno graduated with two All-County honors and goalie Paul Salib earned it once.
Offensively, the Golden Elks will look to Serebe Kajubi to pick up the slack.
“He’s one of those core players retuning from last year and this will be his senior season,” Marley said. “He’s a real talented player, very technical and good on the ball. We’re looking at him a lot as far as a leadership role goes with this team.”
He added that Kajubi’s skill set is a strength most of the team possesses.
“As far as strength goes, I feel like we’re very talented and technical in the mid- field,” Marley said. “I think, for the most part, the players that are out there are going to be very technical and talented, but it’s just a matter of staying healthy and competing at a higher level. We’re replacing Paul in goal and we’re replacing a couple of key defenders like Mario, but at the same time, we’ve had younger guys step up ready to fill that role. We’ll be young, but definitely talented and athletic.”
Elkton won just two regular-season games a year ago. Marley felt that team had too much talent to produce that low of a total. This year, the Elks are determined not to underachieve again, despite minimal numbers.
“We have a talented group, but not necessarily the deepest program as far as numbers and depths goes, so a lot of it just has to do with focus, good training habits, getting after it in practice each day, and if we do those things – little things – I feel like we can have some success this year,” Marley said. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve had talented teams that have kind of underachieved – definitely last year. I feel like this year, it’s about staying focused and kind of keeping our eyes on our common team goals that we’re looking to achieve.”
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Serebe Kajubi, pictured, will help pick up the slack for the Elkton boy’ soccer team following the graduation of three All-County players.