New Cougars football coach targets better offense | Grayson County
After scoring just 21 actual goals last season and being held scoreless seven times in 16 games played, first-year head coach Ethan Saltsman said finding more ways for the Grayson County football team to score was a priority.
“This summer we’re hoping to do a better offensive offense,” said Saltsman, who replaced Joshua Baldwin as head coach. “We will work on formations and movement on the pitch, as well as possession of the ball. Our defense kept us in a lot of tough games last year, and our goaltender, Jackson Kane, is a huge asset to us. We have to work on the transitions in the midfield. “
The Cougars went 6-11-2 last season with two forfeit wins (in the 11th District tournament over Butler County) and one COVID-19 void. The Cougars also lost a game due to a COVID-19 cancellation.
Two of Grayson County’s top three scorers (Josh Stevenson seven goals and Bahaa Masri five goals) have graduated.
The Cougars have the return of senior Colton Glenn after scoring five goals last year.
“This team has to work to be a cohesive unit,” said Saltsman, who was an assistant coach last year with the Cougars. “Last season it looked like our midfielder was left on an island in many games. Our forwards need to step back and help our defense and vice versa our defense needs to come up and be a viable drop option to help us retain the ball We have to learn to move as a unit on the pitch and trust each other’s skills.
Saltsman said he will build on the Cougars’ senior class to improve on last year’s performance, which included a loss in the 11th District tournament final and the first round of the 3rd region tournament.
“We have a good group of seniors, who bring us experience this season,” he said. “With this experience and the potential of our youngsters, we should be able to have a more aggressive attack. So far, our defense has remained our main strength, with an experienced backline and goalie (Jackson Kane senior).
The team is not working now due to the state-mandated blackout period, which extends through July 9. At the start of the summer, Saltsman said he was impressed with the improvements made by several players.
“We’ve had a lot of players stepped up this offseason,” he said. “Aidan Lee has become a leader; Will Johnston improved his entire game and conditioning; Wyatt Clemons has improved his offensive game. Our senior group, including Colton Glenn, Jackson Kane, Aidan Baldwin and Keagen Coon, really entered their final year with a new level of confidence in their skills.
Saltsman said he’s looking forward to seeing how the Cougars’ efforts since last season play out this year.
“…I’m very grateful for the group of young men we have,” he said. “It’s great to work with them, and I’m really excited to work with them, and I can’t wait to see the fruits of their hard work in the coming season.”