The New Salem-Almont-Glen Ullin Holsteins return for another season under Head Coach Steve Kleinjan, but a new season brings new challenges like replacing a stellar senior class from last year.
For New Salem, the end of the 2018 season left a bitter taste in their mouth. A perfect season lost in the championship and with numerous seniors graduting it is time for new faces to take over.
“They’ve come out with great work ethic and a great attitude,” says Head Coach Steve Klienjan. “That’s what we”re looking for from this group of kids. We graduated a great group of seniors last year, and with our transition to 11-man, we knew it was key to have kids that came in and provided that leadership.”
One of the leaders gone is 2018 9-man senior athlete of the year Evan Henke, but the Holsteins return some talent that could replace his presence like Clay Gerhardt and Adam Morman.
“We lost a lot of good kids,” linebacker Clay Gerhardt says. “But this next year, all these younger kids, we have to step up more and make more plays than normal.”
In addition, to the top of the loss of a great senior class. New Salem transitions to 11-man this season. New opponents and new challenges that face the Holsteins in 2019, but head coach Steve Kleinjan is getting his team focused on the tasks in front of them.
“We just got to get better every practice, every game and the rest kind of takes care of itself. So if we improve week to week, game to game, obviously things are going to turn out well for us when it gets to the end of the season,” says Klienjan. “It’s their time. It’s their chance to get out on a field in a varsity game and show their abilities and like I said, they’ve been working hard at that and doing a good job at that.”
For Coach Klienjan, in his 23rd year with New Salem will bring a new test of adapting to the changes, but you can guarantee that the Holsteins will welcome them when they get a start on their pursuit of another title in New Salem.
New Salem plays their first game in 11-man on the road at Tioga High on this Friday.