Rovers Welcome New Board Members

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Granby Rovers new board members (l.-r.): treasurer, Troy Milbrandt; secretary, Rich Dixon; facilities, Shawn Bosco; girls’ programs, Chris Cramer.

Rovers welcome new board members

By Rob Miltenberger

At its Dec. 3 year-end board and coaches meeting, the Granby Rovers Soccer Club welcomed four new members to its board of directors: Rich Dixon, Secretary; Troy Milbrandt, Treasurer; Chris Cramer, Girls Program Director; and Shawn Bosco, Field/Facilities Director. Todd Klein, president of the Rovers, acknowledged how fortunate the Rovers is to have such talented incoming leadership as each new member either has extensive experience in coaching or expertise in an area relating to their board position. Klein thanked outgoing secretary Lindsay Sessions, treasurer Kelly DiMeo, girls program director Jeff Holden and field/facilities director Erick Holm who devoted several years to the Rovers, through coaching and board service, and made unique contributions along the way. “Without the dedication of these individuals and their ability and willingness to perform multiple roles, the Rovers could not have reached the level that it has,” commented Klein.

GMHS head girls’ and boys’ varsity coaches Moose Dzielak and Dave Emery spoke about their just-completed seasons. With his first varsity GMHS season behind him, Coach Dzielak expressed thanks to the Rovers for staffing the sidelines with ball girls and boys during the varsity games. He said he thought this year’s squad was composed of a terrific group of kids and were among the most pleasurable he’s ever coached. He went on to talk about how improved juggling skills and the ability to work the ball with both feet would be areas he’d like to see Rovers coaches work on with their players. Coach Emery went on to elaborate that, by the time players arrive at the high school, there aren’t enough practices for the GMHS coaches to significantly develop soccer-specific skills. The fall season is short and the players need to arrive ready to play. The three ingredients to become a fully competent soccer player, according to Emery, are, first and foremost, being a good person and teammate. Coach Emery expressed appreciation that the vast majority of the Granby kids he encounters satisfy that first criterion. “We’re very fortunate to live in the community we do, with the strong commitment to family values.” The second ingredient is a strong “athletic platform” of speed, strength and endurance/conditioning. Lastly, Emery focused on soccer-specific skills and the ability to be comfortable with the ball and make quick ball distribution decisions. “Not being comfortable with the first touch can make all the difference,” he noted echoing points Dzielak made earlier. Focusing on ball skill development and maintaining a healthy balance between winning and player development are key for Rovers coaches to provide competitive players to the high school upon “graduation” from Rovers.

With its new board and the communication channel with the high school in place, the Rovers are ready for a busy and productive off-season.