DEWITT — The Central DeWitt boys soccer team is focusing on the little things so far this season.
“We’re just trying to fix the little errors that keep letting us down,” Sabers coach Jon Keith said after an 8-0 loss to Pleasant Valley on April 22. “Our first touch, our passing — the effort’s there, it’s just hard to compete against the top teams in the state in the MAC. We’re trying to find little ways where we can find positives and build off those, and clean up the mental errors that we’re making consistently that are letting us down.
“It feels like we hang around with these teams for 15-20 minutes, then the first goal goes in and then heads go down, then five minutes later the second one goes in and it’s all she wrote.”
The Sabers are 3-7 and the team’s most recent win came during a 10-0 blowout over Anamosa on April 26.
The team has around 20 seniors, and the Sabers are relying on their leadership so far.
“I think Cody Penniston and Ben Mason, especially on offense, are our two leaders in the offensive front right now — not just in terms of their leadership ability, but also skill,” Keith said. “I think Boomer Johnson in the back has really battled for us. He’s definitely one of our better players, but he’s also kind of played through a couple injuries.”
Penniston leads the team with 13 points, five goals and three assists so far this year. Mason is third on the team with seven points and Johnson has six points so far. Landon Peterson is second on the team with eight points.
Keith said he needs his young guys to step up with how many seniors the Sabers will lose.
“We’ve got to get these young guys some minutes, otherwise we’re going to lose so much next year,” Keith said. “We’ve got a couple juniors, too, that are standing out. Briar Baxter can be a very good player if he figures it out. He’s got the speed — now we’ve got to figure out the other sides of it.”
Keith also mentioned sophomores Chris Martens and Austin Yackle, and freshman Wyatt Penniston as young players making an impact.
The Sabers host Clinton at home on Thursday. Keith said the team is focusing on preparing for sub-state right now.
“Conference is kind of a loss at this point, but still things we can gain,” Keith said. “We want to win every game, we’re going to compete in every game, but that’s our push — prepare for the future.”