2013 KHQA BARNSTORM TOUR: THE RE-IMAGINING OF QUINCY BLUE DEVIL SOCCER
Matt Longo: " I think in the last 10 years we've built a lot of tradition just in a short time. These kids want to continue what the other group of kids have done. That started back with the 2004 group I started out with that set the pace. And then you've got the 2013 group that just wants to continue what everybody else has done."
Aubrie Dissler: "Just want to come in and right where the Seniors last year left off and just like you said set the bar up higher."
There is an indisputable template for succes for Blue Devil Soccer, but not necessarily an exact Blueprint. In Style and execution, this edition of Quincy High Soccer will look radically different from last years; almost like a basketball team switching from the Grinnell to Princeton Offense.
Michael Longo: "We like to knock it around. We like to play a lot more technical, not over the top; the run and gun you've seen the last couple years with Blue Devil Soccer."
Matt Longo: "We've got speed up front, but we don't have the speed that we have had in the past. We've sort of adjusted what we are doing and I think people will like that style of play with the little short passing, a lot of give and gos. Work our way up the field."
Blake Dittmer: "We're just not about the kicking and running this year. We like to get the ball at our foot. Pass it around. Switch the ball. Move it more. Small sided games and we've worked on that in practice."
Matt Longo: "It took me a while to get accustomed to it this summer but this group just has the type of make up from over the 15 games that we've played this summer and the 25 dates allowed by the IHSA. As a coach you just have to see what's best for your team. They wanted to do it. They've worked at it. And they proved they were capable of doing it. They did it against some great teams this summer."
There is also a safety net in place for that adjustment: Arguably the deepest defensive well Matt Longo has fielded.
Blake Dittmer: "Our Defense is very solid. We have a lot of returning Defensive players including our two sweepers which are very powerful back there and I like that. It makes me comfortable."
Point blank, Matt Longo thinks he's no less than 17 quality varsity players deep this year...including two capable net minders in Colin Shackleton and Tyler Gerst.
Matt Longo: "There is no doubt there is a great battle in the goal. This summer what we did was play (them) half and half. When you get to the high school level a coach just has to pick one kid. Or if he doesn't pick one kid, he has to alternate. That's work in progress as well so as you can see from our Goalies to our Defense, which is a strength, to our Midfield, where we are very very deep, to our forwards, where they are very good with possession, it's just a matter of bringing that all together like a great big puzzle."