Clawson High’s Alex Cordone looks to get past a diving Warren Mott defender in a game on the road. Cordone scored a hat trick Sept. 4 as the Trojans beat the Marauders 4-1.

Clawson High’s Alex Cordone looks to get past a diving Warren Mott defender in a game on the road. Cordone scored a hat trick Sept. 4 as the Trojans beat the Marauders 4-1.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Clawson boys soccer off to strong start

By: Jacob Herbert | Royal Oak Review | Published September 10, 2019

 Clawson’s Andrew Kolf battles with a Warren Mott player during a recent game. Trojans coach Dan Wickham identified Kolf as one of the team’s leaders this season.

Clawson’s Andrew Kolf battles with a Warren Mott player during a recent game. Trojans coach Dan Wickham identified Kolf as one of the team’s leaders this season.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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When Dan Wickham took over as the girls soccer coach at Clawson High last season, the team won the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division with an undefeated 12-0 record. Overall, the Trojans finished 19-2 after an 8-4-7 season the previous year.

Now in his first year as coach of the boys team, Wickham is looking for that same magic. At press time, the Trojans were 2-0 in the MAC Blue and 3-3-1 overall.

Though the season is still young, Wickham likes what he’s seen from his team in the early going. He said they’re right where he expected them to be.

“We’re grinders; we go out there and we work hard,” the coach said. “We’ve been preparing ourselves for the season pretty extensively throughout the offseason.”

With only two seniors, the Trojans are a young group. Though for Wickham, the lack of older players doesn’t hinder the team’s ability to be successful. The coach estimated that eight or nine of the younger players have played for him outside of high school ball.

Reluctant to use the term, Wickham called his coaching style “demanding,” and was surprised to see the team quickly adapt to the way he does things.

“I really thought there was going to be a learning curve on how I want things done, but they got it and hit the ground running with it,” he said. 

With such a young group, the leadership of senior captains Bruce Smith and Andrew Kolf has been paramount. 

Smith is the Trojans’ goalkeeper. In a 4-1 win over Warren Mott Sept. 4, Wickham witnessed Smith do some things in net that he’s never seen before from a goaltender.

“He’s a luxury to have, for sure,” Wickham said.

Wickham said that Kolf, a forward, leads by example. 

“He goes out there and he will work as hard as he possibly can in anything we’re working on,” the coach said. “Whatever it is, he is making it a point to be the best at it, and that has a trickle-down effect on everybody else.”

The leadership of Smith and Kolf has had a trickle-down effect on the rest of the team. While the Trojans did embark on a team bonding trip to Traverse City near the end of July, the seniors are spending time with the freshmen off the field back home. 

As for younger standout players, sophomore Alex Cordone has a deserved spot on that list. The forward has 11 goals.

Other notable underclassmen are freshman defender Devin McCullough and sophomore defenseman Nick Lanfear. Wickham called the pair “the ultimate teammates” and said that their friendship off the field helps by leaps and bounds on the field. 

The Trojans are hoping all this camaraderie leads them to a MAC Blue title. Last year, the team finished second to undefeated Warren Cousino.

On top of the in-conference success, the Trojans want to advance deep into the state playoffs.

“We got out of our district last year and we want to repeat that,” Wickham said. “We lost in the regional semis, and our goal is to win our region and then battle in the state semis and see where it goes from there.”

Call Sports Writer Jacob Herbert at (586) 498-1062. Follow Sports on Twitter @CandGSports.

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