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GCC boys soccer begins new season with young, ambitious coach

| Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
(Daniel Kubus | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
GCC midfielder Ethan Slike runs upfield during a scrimmage between Latrobe and Greensburg Central Catholic on August 17, 2014 at Latrobe High School in Latrobe, PA.

The Greensburg Central Catholic boys soccer team's dismal fourth-place finish in Section 1-A and 7-10 record led to offseason changes with hopes of turning the program around.

Former coach Tom Sochacki left for Hempfield, and the Greensburg Central Catholic administration set its sights on 24-year-old Tyler Condron.

Condron, a former WPIAL all-star at Burrell, isn't worried about the small generational gap between him and his players.

He thinks it will help bring out the best from his players.

“I know I'm a younger guy, but I do have some experience that I know will pay its dividends,” Condron said. “I think I can relay a wealth of my soccer knowledge down to the kids, and coming from someone not much older than them, I think it'll make for a great atmosphere.”

Condron hopes to brings fresh, ambitious philosophies to GCC. Hired less than a month ago, he understands there will be a growth process but his expectations will not be hindered by the transition.

Condron familiarized himself with seniors Adam Tucker, Timmy Szekely and Nick Frank.

The trio of captains already have helped push Condron's mantras onto the others.

Condron said, especially as a new coach, having the watchful eyes of senior leaders makes his job easier.

“I hope that these guys continue to represent themselves the same way all year,” Condron said. “On any team, it's good to have guys like them to look up to.

“If I'm running behind, the entire team is ready to go, and it's all because of my captains.”

Sophomore Jack Murray started his freshman year as a keeper, and at times, he faced a fury. Condron said Murray has confidence and is prepared this year.

Condron said one of his most difficult tasks will be replacing an entire rotation of starters on defense.

Early in the year, he said he'll play with multiple lineups to see who can fill the void. Senior Nick Corona has varsity experience in the back and will see significant time this year with freshman Stephen Kendrish.

Condron noted that the Centurions weren't as bad as their record indicated last season. He highlighted several games that the team lost 1-0 and games that ended 5-1 in their favor.

That prompted him to realize that consistency will be key.

“I really believe that to be more consistent, you have to believe that you have the talent,” he said. “Sometimes the hardest thing I'll have to do as a coach is to remind these guys that, ‘hey, you have to believe in yourselves,' and sometimes I don't think they realize how good they are.”

This year surely will be a learning curve.

He welcomes the challenge as long as the effort is there.

“I guess I'd say my biggest thing is I don't want them giving up,” he said. “I just want every play, every game to play as hard as they can.

“Soccer is a tough game, and what happens, happens. I want them to push throughout, and if they do that, I'll be happy with the results.”

Brian Graham is a freelance writer.

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