A changing of the guard/Player profile: Jarred Edwards
The Lansing boys’ soccer team appears to be on the path of self-discovery.
A number of strong players off of last year’s squad have moved on to the world of adult and college life, but third-year head coach Adam Cogswell has plenty of returnees on hand to make things interesting as the new season approaches in September.
“It's always difficult to say with so many kids out on vacations or working, but I like what I see,” Cogswell said of the team’s summer workouts. “We have some new kids joining us that I think will make a positive impact. “Summer training has been great. The players are working very hard, and we're getting really good turnout.”
A number of boys have made the time to get out to the Lansing High soccer field to get good work in, but it may be still too soon to tell where their hidden talents lay.
“Again, this is a bit of prognostication since we still aren't getting consistent numbers but overall I'd say that we're improving on the defensive side of the ball across the board,” Cogswell said. “We still need to work on our technical skills a bit.”
The players appear to be quite confident in how things are progressing for the Lions.
“We have seen a good participation from new faces and some old,” senior Lion Jarred Edwards said. “We lost seven seniors last year and have had some move away, but everyone that shows up seems eager and wanting to play until they drop.
“I see the team definitely improving on the pace of play. We have the capacity to play the ball quickly and that's where we will stand apart from other teams. However, in order to do this, we have to increase our endurance and first touch.”
Sophomore goaltender Logan Hope is planning to get more time on the varsity after seeing some opportunities last fall.
Hope believes that the boys have put in the work to become an improved program, top to bottom.
“This really helps for the freshmen who don’t really know what they are doing yet,” Hope said about the summer workouts. “It also helps the entire team because we need to start playing as a team. The new guys are coming in and aren’t that comfortable with how we play yet. This gives them a chance to work their way into the team. The turnouts have been ebb and flow, but we’ve had some good days and we get a lot done.
“(Cogswell’s) coaching method is strict and he works us a lot, but you can see that pays off a lot in games when we have the stamina and discipline to go the whole game.”
Player Profile: Jarred Edwards
In a blink of an eye, Lansing boys’ soccer player Jarred Edwards saw his role and stature change in the program.
Following a year of struggle last fall, the Lions lost seven seniors and others to moving away from the school and now Edwards and a handful of other teammates have been thrust into a position of taking on the leadership of the program.
According to Lansing head coach Adam Cogswell, so far, so good for Edwards, since he got plenty of leadership dress rehearsals during his junior campaign.
“Jarred really stepped up as a leader last year and coming in as a new player that was impressive,” Cogswell said. “He's an intelligent, highly technical player who understands the game. Off the field he's a good mentor to the younger kids and actively tries to make us better.”
Edwards’ growth in the game has led him to reaching even higher for 2017.
“My goals this year are to be a team player that is able to penetrate defenses on the dribble and with passes,” Edwards said. “My main goal is to be able to make the United States Military Academy men's soccer team as a walk on. Playing college soccer is the ultimate goal and I am being recruited by some colleges and universities.”
That is all a byproduct of the growth Edwards has seen over the years.
“I felt that I really evolved as a player while living in Germany and playing there it gave me a different perspective as to how to play the game,” he said. “This season I want to be able to combine the German and American playing styles and be able to bring that diversity to the high school arena.”
It doesn’t hurt to have a close member of the family who was also heavily involved in the game.
“My dad played soccer and so I grew up watching him play pickup games and I've been playing since I was 2 and it's given me a drive and a stress reliever for me,” Edwards said. “It's also given me an opportunity to make lifelong friends. Frankly it's a fun sport and a universal language that everyone understands.”
What Edwards also understands is the need to take every aspect of his preparation to the next level.
“I've been hitting the weight room a lot more than I did last year and trying to focus on my endurance and speed,” Edwards said. “Those things are going to help me better the team.”
Edwards still finds time to do things away from the pitch.
“When I'm not playing soccer, you can usually find me at home sleeping or watching Netflix and eating a bunch of food,” Edwards admitted. “I also love to golf so I spend a lot of time at the various courses around Leavenworth. But my favorite thing to do is hang out with my friends and mess around.”