2013 KHQA BARNSTORM TOUR: QND SOCCER RELOADS.....FROM THE BACK FORWARD
They were the catalysts behind a QND Soccer's run to the Effingham Sectional Title Game last October.
But cousins Parker and Taylor Reis have graduated...
Gone is their highlight reel goal scoring...and in its place, the Raiders will have a new and very different signature attribute and a new face of the franchise.
His name is Zeke Little...and his specialty is the art of denial.
Greg Reis: "Zeke is a tremendous confidence booster for the guys who play in front of him. I mean he organizes the game so well, defuses a lot of situations before they even get down there by his communication levels at the back."
Zeke Little: "Every year we're coming out strong. We're expecting to win a state championship. Give it all we got."
Greg Reis: "His mental abilities are backed up by his physical abilities. And I think there are several coaches out there at the college level that are really going to like what they see from him...If he plays well and our defense plays up to their capabilities, we should be fine."
Backline stability would be a much valued and much appreciated commodity at 10th and Jackson this fall; especially since so much of Greg Reis' coaching attention must be directed forward.
Greg Reis: "I don't know that we've got one or two guys that can amount to 29 goals like Taylor (Reis) and Parker (Reis) did last year. But we've talked about it. We've changed formations with the hope of getting more balls lobbed into the box."
Cooper Reis: "Just being able to pass the ball around. We've got a lot of Midfielders this year. So if we can keep our possession, we should be good."
What this version of the Raiders lacks in proven commodities, Greg Reis hops his team can make up for in Winner's DNA
Cooper Reis: "Most of the starters this year are Juniors, which is my class, and we've been here since they've won State. So we kinda know what to expect and how to earn that."
Greg Reis: "I think the guys have a specific goal of getting back to the State Tournament. Last year's 2-1 (Playoff) loss late in the game really kind of bites at some of these guys who got significant minutes last year and I think they are going to turn that into a source of motivation for us."
Zeke Little: "We got a lot of younger guys coming up and they really need to step up and lead. Help out the underclassmen. Let them know what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong."
Greg Reis on what the early season mindset is: "Finding our identity. Stay positive even if we take some lumps early on. With our schedule we could get some pretty lopsided losses early on but if the guys believe in the system, believe in each other , we can go a long way in the postseason."