ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DIANE MAYS
This season the Canton-Galva boys will be focusing on defensive pressure and team play, according to coach first-year Kelly Unruh.
“Really, what we’re just trying to work on is getting better fundamentally,” Unruh said. “We’re trying to work on playing as a team with a lot of intensity.
“Our overall team strength right now is going to be defense and defensive pressure,” he said.
Key players helping to spearhead that defensive strategy are Shelby Hoppes, Ryan Schmidt, Travis Regehr, DaWayne Stos, Josh Robinson, Justin Bacon and Travis Schafer.
“Those are all kids that had some varsity experience last year,” Unruh said.
The Eagles also have some new players who will contribute this year as well, Unruh said.
Junior Casey Haines heads that list,”and then we have several youngsters that will be working their way in,” he said.
One team Canton-Galva will have their eye on in the Heart of America League this year is Burrton.
“They’re not actually a rival per se, but they’ve got most of their players coming back,” Unruh said. “I think they’re going to be one of the top teams to beat, and usually Ell-Saline is always a pretty tough team, too.”
Coming off last season’s record of 0-21, the Eagles are looking to notch a few wins.
“Our main objective this year is to play hard, and hopefully with that will come a few wins,” Unruh said. “That’s going to be our biggest thing-just to learn how to win.”
The Eagles don’t have their eyes on any particular team to beat. This year they’re looking to play hard every game.
“I’ve already told the guys this- every game is going to have to be an important game for us this year after coming off an 0-21 season,” Unruh said. “We’re going to have to be ready to play every night.”
For the last 12 years, Kelly Unruh has coached middle school, and for the past two, he was the assistant coach for the Canton-Galva high school boys. This year he’s taking over the head position.
The Eagles open their season Friday on the road against Little River. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.