GLADWIN – Young and talented, that’s how new Gladwin soccer coach Dominic Lake describes this years Flying G’s. Seventeen players have turned out this fall with only one senior, first year player Justin Johnson, in the group. Lake, like his team is also young. He graduated from Gladwin High School in 2011 and went to college at Ferris State University in Big Rapids before returning home to work for the Gladwin schools. He is currently a fifth grade teacher at the Intermediate School.
Lake coached the girls’ junior varsity team for four years and was the boys’ junior varsity coach before a lack of players shut that part of the program down. He now takes over from Jerome Smalley the only boys coach in Gladwin High School history and has some big shoes to fill. The G’s have won at least twenty games in each of the last five years and had a 60 game conference-winning streak broken in last years conference playoffs, but as he said multiple times during the interview he likes what he sees.
There is a good balance of experienced players and young talent expected to get a lot of playing time. The juniors include center forward Jackson Raymond, left mid Austin Wagnitz, and right side defender Austin Volmering, Andrew Imm and Ethan Gee. The sophmores include sweepers Dakota Leddy and Nathan Schwan, left defender Ayden Heintz, right forward Isaac Heintz, left forward Liam Graveline William Beck and keeper Ashton Imm. Freshman such as center mid Caleb Palmreuter, right mid Treyton Siegert, and Ethan Pagel will gain valuable experience this year that should help keep the G’s on top for quite a while.
As an indication of the athletic ability of this year’s team, Leddy and Palmreuter are duel sporting this fall. Both also run cross-country.
Lake plans to keep some of Smalley’s formations while making some adjustments of his own. He wants to focus on ball movement in the offensive end. He likes to work the ball back and forth inside and out. “With more ball movement you confuse the defense and find more windows to shoot.” With such a young time he feels that it is a good time for them to get used to passing the ball more.
It the short time I had to talk to Dominic it is easy to see that he is excited about the upcoming season and the future in general. With virtually the whole team eligible to return next year the future is very bright, but the present looks very good, also.