New In­di­ans coach ex­cited about young, tal­ented team

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

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.”

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CECIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

A pair of North East play­ers bat­tle for the ball dur­ing a game against Elk­ton last sea­son.

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