New Indians coach excited about young, talented team
Mark Kalwa believes the North East boys’ soccer team can do better this year.
The first-year head coach was an assistant for an Indians squad that won a single game a season ago.
“We’re just excited to make it a better year this year,” he said.
Kalwa, who had previously served as an assistant coach at Aberdeen, feels he has a young, but talented group to work with.
“It’s exciting. I’ve got real good numbers and I have a nice crop of boys coming in this year, quite a few freshman with some skills,” he said. “They’re responding well. I’m getting my feet wet in a good way. Things have been pretty smooth, I’m happy with the way things are going right now.”
While he gladly accepts talented players, the challenge is to get a group that has yet to play with one another to work as a team.
“It’s about getting the players to be a cohesive group as opposed to individuals. A lot of them haven’t played together that much, so my hardest job is to get them to intermingle their talents so that they can play as a unit as opposed to individual players,” Kalwa said. “They’re in good shape, so the main thing is just really getting them to put it all together as a team.”
Kalwa pinpointed Brad Hubbard, Adam Butenewicz and Connor Rowe as leaders for North East this season.
Rowe recorded five goals and five assists to earn an All-County selection as a sophomore.
“He’s one of the exceptional players that stand out,” Kalwa said. “He’s very intelligent and good with the ball. They’re very good leaders, those three.”
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A pair of North East players battle for the ball during a game against Elkton last season.