CANTON – Entering his second season as head coach of the Canton High boys soccer program, Jeff Weyers understands the task that lies ahead.

CANTON – Entering his second season as head coach of the Canton High boys soccer program, Jeff Weyers understands the task that lies ahead.

 

Since 2010, the program has a record of 9-115, a .070 winning percentage. The program has finished winless each of the past two seasons with identical 0-20 records.

 

But the struggles are not about to deter Weyers entering the new season.

 

“It’s a matter of changing attitudes,” he said. “It’s a matter of kids believing in themselves. It’s like I told the kids last year, it’s all about improving. If the kids improve every game, that’s a win for us. If we do that, I think we’ll see some wins this year.”

 

Unlike a year ago when Weyers was a last-minute hire for the program, he had the entire summer to work with players this go-round.

 

“I’m excited about what we had in the summer,” he said. “We had scrimmages throughout the summer and we progressed. I saw a lot of good things.”

 

Weyers noted that he also had a lot of help with alumni returning to help the current players.

 

“It was really encouraging to see a lot of people coming back to help,” he said.

 

Entering the start of practice this week, approximately 15 players were in attendance. That included a number of returnees, along with newcomers who had never played soccer before. Weyers noted that he had previously coached the majority of the returnees at the YMCA.

 

Weyers said the focus for the early practices were all about technique, getting the newcomers up to speed in working with the more established players.

 

“My thought is, if we play as a team and the kids learn and enjoy playing together, then they’ll want to work harder for each other,” said Weyers.

 

Next week, the team will continue working toward its season-opening match August 22 at Stanford Olympia. A year ago, the Little Giants dropped a hard-fought 1-0 decision to the Spartans.

 

While Weyers is looking for the team to reach the win column, he is also looking for the squad to improve on other aspects.

 

“From my perspective, as you get older, the wins aren’t as important as the attitude, the effort and the teamwork,” said Weyers. “... When you are struggling with numbers, you have to look at reality.”