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Following their loss to Pendleton County, the Grant County High School boys’ soccer team was driven to prove they could play a complete game.
Against the Wildcats, the Braves rallied in the final 15 minutes, but were looking to show their skill over the full 90 minutes.
They proved they could with back-to-back wins over Walton-Verona and Harrison County.
The Braves defeated Walton-Verona 1-0 Sept. 8 on a goal from senior Anthony Clouse.
“It took us a little bit to adjust to their turf field and once we did, we started making better runs,” coach Dempsey Schlueter said. “We learned against Pendleton County that you can’t judge a team based on their record. We started with better intensity and we’re not going to take any team lightly. We have to bring our best game every time.”
GCHS followed with a 3-1 victory over Harrison County Sept. 10. Clouse scored two goals and junior Lincoln Howe scored one goal. With Clouse’s two goals, he moved into the top three goal scorers in Grant County Braves’ history with 21, passing Aaron Melton (18) and Schlueter (17). Boston Howe holds the record with 45, while Austin Ryan is in second with 25.
“We improved on our three goals of defense, possession and taking the ball up the sides more,” Schlueter said. “It’s an improvement from how we were playing. Anthony has proven that his work ethic is carrying over from practice to the games.”
Schlueter believes his team can continue to improve in the month and a half until the district tournament.
“They’re putting in the effort every game and we’re learning from every game,” Schlueter said. “We’ve taken a couple of steps in the right direction. We’ve been in each game and we’re getting to the point of the season where we can get over the hump. Our seniors are capable of being the leaders that can pull the team through a tough game. Our confidence is growing and we’re seeing that we’re capable of reaching our goals.”