2016-17 Season Preview
Compared to last year the IMS boys soccer team should be deeper all around. Last year they played a lot of freshman so now, guys like Jacob Boller, Blake Bontrager, and Cody Jones have solid game experience which should help them and the team this year. The same is true of juniors like Cole Ours, Reggie Borntrager, Gerardo Mendoza, Mitchell Schmieder and Isaiah Swantz who all started and played a lot as sophomores.
The leadership from the seniors has been excellent. Nick Yutzy, Cole Yoder bring competitive experience and leadership from the basketball season. Anthony Villatoro and Jared Schlabaugh bring their experience from being involved in the program the last three years. Juan Andino who transferred last year brings some defensive prowess to us. Their maturity and leadership has set a positive tone in practice. It seems it’s easier for us to stay focused in practice and to pay attention to the little details which lead to improvement. They have been positive and encouraging to the younger players.
Mentioning Jared Schlabaugh, he’s improved his physical conditioning and in the pre-season scrimmage he did some good things in terms of play. His speed and ball skills are all much improved so he was able to play with more confidence. Besides Jared, Cole Ours showed increased confidence on the ball and scored a couple of times during our scrimmage. Also Isaiah Swantz is just eager to play and brings a lot of talent and ability to the game.
Hopefully the team can continue to improve it’s ability to possess the ball and improve it’s overall defending. A team goal is to cut down on the number of goals we gave up last year, especially early in games. Cole Yoder and Blake Bontrager will likely split time in goal and both showed tremendous improvement over the course of last year. Juan Andino will be a great asset defensively and Mitchell has another year of experience. Other newcomers who have impressed in the first weeks of practice include Seth Danga an exchange student from Nigeria, Louis Etienne who was in school last year as a freshman but unable to play. Levi Geyer, a junior decided to give soccer a try and for someone who’s never played before he has done well and will provide depth. Sophomore, Tyler Swantz has shown some good things, as have freshman Kobe Borntrager and Drew Blauvelt.
As far as Head Coach, Marcus Miller’s philosophy, he’s been reading some of Joe Ehrmann’s books, particularly Inside Out Coaching, and Seasons of a Life. Ehrmann talks a lot about “building men of character.” So I’m interested in seeing us improve on the field, but also in terms of how we interact with each other as a team, and how we relate to officials and the guys on other teams. We worked on this some last year and I like to think it showed in that we were given only three yellow cards. With some of the other things these guys face, I’m hoping to focus on the issue of integrity and how it relates, not just to soccer, but how it relates to academics, our families, our jobs and other activities in which we are involved. Assistant Coaches this year are Truman Shetler and Vince Rhodes-Kaiser. Both are 2010 graduates of IMS and both played four years of college soccer, Truman at Crown College in Minnesota and Vince at St. Ambrose in Davenport. Both Truman and Vince are among the leaders in goals scored and assists in IMS history so they bring a lot of expertise and experience to the the coaching staff.
The first ever Homecoming & Alumni Family Weekend was held on the campus of IMS on October 13-14. The weekend kicked off Friday evening with two alumni sporting events. First, many alumni and their families gathered in Hillcrest Union to watch the alumni ladies play volleyball. Next was the guys turn. The sideline was full […]