While many spring teams have found being stuck inside due to persistent inclement weather a detrimental thing, Coal City soccer coach Michael Kostbade is looking at practicing on the hardwood with rose-colored glasses.
“Playing on a gym floor has helped our team with its ball control,” Kostbade said. “There is a smaller margin of error when working indoors.”
Even still, he admits that it’s not completely a glass half full.
“The inability to play outside hurts our ability to develop an understanding of player roles in our system,” he said. “To sketch it on a white board is one thing, but to do a full field walk-through is far more effective.”
Coal City is coming back this spring from an 11-4-1 season where the Coalers won their first regional championship ever.
Lost are several key players such as Sarah Sirovy, Donjetta Shabani, Brynna Borgra and Alisha Johnson, but that doesn’t mean the cupboard is bare for Kostbade this season. In fact, seniors Britta Spelde, Brittany Jezik, Kristen Pearcy and Taylor McCollough will be playing their fourth straight season together on the varsity. Jezik, Pearcy and McCollough are the team’s captains this year.
Kostbade said that the points of emphasis this spring has been on a couple of things.
“Our three goals this season are to finish games strong, to win the regional again and compete better in sectionals and to finish in the top three of our conference.”
Which may not be as easy as winning a second straight regional. Kostbade says the teams to beat this year in the Interstate Eight Conference are Manteno, Peotone, Lisle and Herscher.
To finish in the money in league play, along with sealing another regional trophy has one simple recipe according to Kostbade.
“Keeping our focus for a full 80 minutes and finishing games strong,” he said.