East Alton-Wood RIver coach Garry Herron reflects on the campaign ahead of next year

East Alton-Wood RIver coach Garry Herron reflects on the campaign ahead of next year

“The reminiscences shall be so thick that they should erase them from their faces.”

WOOD RIVER — When speaking about his Oilers, East Alton-Wooden River soccer coach Garry Herron has a glint in his eye and a smile on his face because the reminiscences begin to flood again, then come flooding again. energy.

It has been lower than every week since EA-WR’s season ended with a loss to Coal Metropolis within the IHSA Class 4A Playoffs, so the reminiscences are nonetheless contemporary in Herron’s thoughts. However suffice it to say, he most likely will not have hassle recalling the highlights of one of many Oilers’ most memorable campaigns.

“It is undoubtedly been a memorable season,” Herron stated. “Getting massive wins towards Harrisburg, Freeburg and Columbia was for certain a spotlight of this season. So was stunning the children with three new units of uniforms. Seeing them get enthusiastic about it was fairly cool.”

From massive wins to chill uniforms and even not-so-cool losses, all of it mixed to make for a season that was certainly the Oilers 12 months for EA-WR.

The Oilers completed 6-4. They began the season 4-0 and gained six of their first seven video games, with only one loss to Breese Central within the first two months of the marketing campaign. EA-WR dominated Harrisburg (29-28), Civic Memorial (20-3), Nokomis (59-14) and Salem (42-34).

After a 21-6 loss at Breese, the Oilers bought again to successful methods with victories over Columbia (22-23) and Freeburg (36-30).

The final three weeks have not been so good for EA-WR, with losses to Roxana and Pink Bud heading into the playoff journey to Coal Metropolis. The loss to Pink Bud value the Oilers an opportunity at a house playoff in Week 1 of the playoffs, however Herron stated the entire season expertise was particular.

“Coming to the playoffs is at all times a cool expertise for guys,” Herron stated. “It is not like different sports activities, the place everybody kind of succeeds via regional play. Making the soccer playoffs means you are on the highest tier of groups within the state.

“The final two weeks of the season did not go our approach, so we needed to take a little bit journey north to Coal Metropolis. They’ve a wealthy historical past of being within the playoffs and having We knew it will be a hard-fought recreation.

“It was cool for the blokes although, we took a constitution bus for the three and a half hour journey. A few of the guys had by no means even been on a constitution bus earlier than so this expertise for them was neat.

“The assist this crew has proven from the group, administration and academics this 12 months has been unimaginable.”

This difficult-fought recreation in Coal Metropolis went the best way of the Coalers in a 22-6 loss to the Oilers.

“I believe the very best a part of the day was seeing what number of of our followers got here out to see us,” Herron stated. “After the match, there have been a number of feelings. I walked round each senior, gave them a hug. I instructed them I cherished them and thanked them for all they did for this program.

The week eight showdown with Oilers yard rival Roxana Shells was the regional recreation of the season. The greater than packed home of Memorial Stadium noticed Roxana win 35-27 in an instant-prep traditional.

“We stored telling the children what that packed stadium would seem like towards Roxana,” Herron stated, “however I do not suppose it settled for them till they bought to see the variety of individuals really there. It provides you that additional increase if you see a full home like that. The purpose is clearly to at all times have that, however it was good to see it for this recreation.

There have been, in fact, loads of memorable gamers. Some are apparent, others perhaps much less so to informal followers, however they’ll at all times maintain a spot of their coach’s coronary heart.

“They have been a particular group of 16 younger males who did superb issues with their time right here,” Herron stated, “and I want them the very best of luck with no matter they determine to do sooner or later.”

Oilers working again Seth Slayden offered a spotlight reel; of reminiscences itself. The senior yardage machine rushed for a school-record 1,106 yards. That broke the one-season college mark set by former Oilers nice Travis Williams, who went on to play on the College of Illinois and later coach EA-WR in 2011 and 2012.

“Seth Slayden breaking Travis Williams’ one-season working document is one thing I’ll at all times bear in mind,” stated Herron, a Williams prep teammate. “To have performed with one among them after which coached the opposite was particular.

“Seth is a unique animal when these pads are on,” Herron stated. “He is the kind of participant any supervisor would kill to have on his crew. You by no means query his effort, his work ethic or his coronary heart. Nearly as good as he’s on the attacking facet of the ball, he was way more vital to us on protection, main the crew in tackles from his protected place which typically noticed him being an additional linebacker after which having to play cowl as properly.

“You simply know wherever the ball is, Seth might be round. His instincts are high notch, among the many greatest I’ve ever seen as a participant and a supervisor.

“If he desires to play in faculty, I am certain there is a college that wish to have him. He exemplifies what it means to be an Oiler. Not solely is he stable on the soccer discipline, but in addition in ranks him too, having above a 4.0 GPA.We’ll miss him for certain.

There have been others, like quarterback/security Miguel Romero and linebacker Zach Oster, Herron stated.

“Miguel had by no means performed quarterback till this season,” he stated. “We wished to have extra of a working risk at quarterback this 12 months and Miguel did that for us. I do know there are occasions once I’m certain he needs he may have been greatest for us, however the best way he stepped up and directed that assault was invaluable.

“He is a competitor and he wished to point out that this season. He was additionally stable defensively, enjoying reverse Seth within the different security place. Shedding these two guys behind our protection shall be powerful as a result of they undoubtedly put their stamp on protection.

“One other man who was a frontrunner in protection was Zach Oster. We took him off the offensive facet of the ball so he may have extra power for protection, and that is what he did. Zach did an awesome job main the protection, making every thing from the calls, ensuring the blokes have been the place they have been presupposed to be His energy and velocity helped him make performs from sideline to sideline He would assist us on offense when referred to as upon, however he is made his mark this 12 months on protection.

How the crew’s expertise and personalities blended collectively was key, Herron stated. And an enormous a part of that was as a result of many Oilers gamers had performed sports activities collectively since elementary college.

“This crew had nice chemistry,” he stated. “Virtually all of those guys have performed collectively since they have been in fifth grade. They joke with one another, hang around with one another and play for one another. It is simpler as a coach when you’ve a a gaggle like that, a gaggle that basically will get alongside and likes one another. It makes it an much more family-like atmosphere.

This household unit will change subsequent season, as is occurring in highschool sports activities. Senior graduates and younger gamers progress to fill the spots. Herron stated he was already excited about what which may seem like.

“We shall be younger,” he stated. “Having solely three juniors on the roster means the second 12 months class should step up and take the reins. We hope to usher in extra youngsters who’re already in class to assist with our numbers and clearly a primary 12 months class of fine dimension Kiyu Stilts and Travis Skinner will take over ball administration for us, and apart from Dillon Gerner, our offensive and defensive traces shall be all new.

“The youngsters are at present on a two-week break, then we’ll begin our low season lifting program and begin engaged on bettering for subsequent season.

“If we need to preserve success at EA-WR, we’ve got to be within the weight room.”

That is the place a brand new set of reminiscences will start.

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