GALION — Following the best season in the program’s short history, Galion High School boys soccer coach Eric Palmer said he believes the Tigers squad is ready to take the next step in its evolution.
“Last year was Galion boys soccer’s first winning season,” said Palmer, who is entering his fourth season as head coach of the Tigers boys team. He coached the Galion girls program during its first two seasons. “It was a really good year. We’re looking forward to a good year this season as well.”
Galion finished with a 10-6-1 record in 2020 and placed fourth in the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference with a 2-3 mark. The Tigers made an early exit from the postseason, falling to Clear Fork 4-1 in the first Division II sectional match. Palmer said Galion is still in search of its first postseason tournament victory.
“Last season was a testament to the guys on this team,” Palmer said. “They like playing soccer, they like to win games, and they like to have fun, so I think we have a good balance of guys who want to have fun, who want to push themselves and get better, and do the things we need to do to keep that growth happening.”
Palmer said he’s excited to see what the new season will bring his team, which returns the majority of players from last season. Key losses include All-Mid Ohio Athletic Conference performers Devin McCarthy (first team) and Carter Keinath (second team). McCarthy scored 10 goals and added 11 assists in 2020 and was voted second-team All-District in Division II. Keinath was one of the top goalkeepers in the area, recording 161 saves.
“Devin and Carter were two really good seniors who played a lot of minutes for us,” Palmer said. “Everyone else for the most part is back and we have some freshmen coming up that we’re hoping will help us do some big things, too.”
Included among the returnees is leading scorer Walker Frankhouse, who led the MOAC in scoring with 56 points (20 goals, 16 assists). Frankhouse was a first-team All-MOAC and first-team Division II All-District selection.
Sam Albert and Jaxson Oehler were honorable mention All-District selections in 2020. Albert was also voted honorable mention All-MOAC.
Palmer said sophomore Dakota Pigg and freshman Brant Walker will compete to replace Keinath as the starting goalkeeper for the Tigers in 2021.
“They’re both getting some minutes in a summer league that we’re playing in and doing some good stuff,” Palmer said.
Palmer said with a number of experienced players returning, he hopes to see more development based on last season’s success.
“We want to continue to grow and, for lack of a better word, play some pretty soccer,” Palmer said. “Move the ball around, possess the ball, be much more tactical than in years past, and not just run and gun.”
Galion Tigers Soccer 2021
(Home matches played at Galion Middle School)
Saturday, Aug. 21 at Loudonville, 12 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 25 at Huron, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 31 at Marion Harding (MOAC), 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 4 vs. Pleasant (MOAC), 10 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 7 vs. Clear Fork (MOAC), 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11 at Bowsher, 12:45 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 14 vs. Mansfield Christian, 5 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 16 vs. Madison, 5 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 20 vs. Ontario (MOAC), 5 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 27 vs. Highland (MOAC), 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 29 at St. Peter’s, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 2 at Upper Sandusky, 12 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 7 at Mansfield Senior, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 9 at Crestview, 11 a.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 12 vs. River Valley (MOAC), 5 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 18 vs. Temple Christian, 5 p.m.
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