Young Lions building toward future growth

It’s a new era in more ways than one when it comes to Lansing High boys’ soccer.

A very young team was met with its first taste of adversity when third-year head coach Adam Cogswell suddenly resigned.

With the team in flux, the Lions turned to Ryan Yedlinsky to take over and so far, the results have been the same - Thursday they fell 5-0 to Shawnee Heights – but the team’s purpose will remain steadfast.

“I am looking at this as an opportunity with a very young team with talent to build them for the next year, two years and more years from now to build a championship team,” Yedlinsky said. “They are extremely motivated and they play hard and even if they win or lose they come running of the field and are excited to play. That’s something that I can work with all day long.”

“Equally as important is that the support from the parents has been outstanding. They support the boys and the program as a whole. They just want the boys to enjoy what they are doing to improve and to grow into strong young men.”

The new coach knows some things his team will learn in time, but they can still take control of the areas of the game they can master in the here and now.

“The cornerstone of my philosophy is possession and what I see with our team is they are exceptional with possession and what our team is doing in comparison to Shawnee Heights is that they are bigger and faster, but that comes with age,” Yedlinsky said. “One year, two years from now you are going to see a totally different team just because they are going to grow.”

The Lansing coach believes that for the program to move forward, the boys also must take care of what they themselves can control and that is the ability to fine-tune their own level of conditioning and physical fitness.

“It’s all about the offseason program and when we are done with the season we will be ready to go,” Yedlinsky said. “It’s a conglomeration of pro and college programs that combines agility, soccer-specific skills, anaerobic and aerobic conditioning and strength conditioning.”

Despite the reality that an eye looks toward the future, there is still that obvious goal in front of the Lions that Yedlinsky and company still have plenty of work to do for 2017 before it’s all comes to a close..

“The here and now is to play a complete game and that’s the bottom line and it starts with possession,” Yedlinsky said. “We started with executing from the flanks trying to get shots on goal and score some goals. We do well working from the back and working from the middle of the field.

“We are absolutely not done with this season.”