Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


August 28, 2013

Hearts aim to keep building off soccer success

After installing a winning attitude and philosophy in his second season as head coach, Aaron Witges hopes for more.

The Flaming Hearts struggled with 1-16-3 season in his first season, but Effingham bounced back for a school-record 13 wins in a 13-5-3 campaign last year.

With eight seniors lost to graduation, Effingham looks to keeping building off the success.

"Thirteen is a great number to shoot at," Witges said. "We have the potential to get there. It is going to take a few games for the players to transition into their new spots."

One of those players will be senior, Dalton Steele. Steele was the starting keeper for the last two seasons, but will now be moved to the backline to lead the defense.

"He may also end up in the midfield as well," Witges said. "He is definitely the vocal leader of this team."

Alongside Steele will be Jacob Gadberry. The rest of the defensive positions are still to be determined.

Taking over in goal is Frank Kafdor.

"It's in our best interest to move Dalton in the field and give Frank a shot in goal," Witges said. "Frank is a big kid. He tops out around 6'4.

"He's powerful with a long wingspan, and can nearly punt the ball down the whole field. We're looking forward to what he brings."

Also shifting positions will be the team's twins, Phil and Andrew Knight.

The Knight boys were a part of Effingham's defense last season, but will be asked to score goals instead of preventing them this season.

"Phil and Andrew were key pieces of our defense last season," Witges said. "They will see more time in the midfield this year. They are great, strong kids. They are the two best players with the ball. We will be looking for them to have a lot of success in those positions."

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