New head man takes charge of Waunakee boys' soccer program –

New head man takes charge of Waunakee boys' soccer program –

A newly-designed logo will represent the Waunakee boys’ soccer program this season.
Dave Kettner
Dave Kettner
A newly-designed logo will represent the Waunakee boys’ soccer program this season.
Dave Kettner has plenty of familiarity with the Waunakee soccer program.
After living in Waunakee for over 12 years, coaching both club and freshman soccer for multiple years, and watching two of his children: Case and Susie, take their turns playing Warrior soccer, Kettner now takes over as head of the Waunakee boys’ program.
“I definitely know all the parents; I know all the players,” Kettner said. “There wasn’t much familiarity that I needed to do to step into the position.”
Kettner takes the reins from Kurt Kliminski, who retired as Waunakee’s head coach after last fall. The main task for the new head coach is to get all his players on the same page to play as one team.
“When I say ‘team,’ it’s the program as a whole…” Kettner added. “The best way to say it is we’ll have one team but four squads. [We’re] getting everyone on the same page, so the philosophy playing is the same at the freshman level as it is at the varsity level and the JV teams in between.”
On the field, that philosophy means a different style of play than many current players are used to. Too often in the past, Ketter said, Waunakee’s players have relied on athleticism to win games; the new program will emphasize soccer proficiency in addition to an aggressive defensive scheme. It also involves a unique mentality Kettner terms, ‘urgently patient.’
“[It] means you need to move quickly; you need to move fast,” said Kettner. “But you also have to be smart and patient with what you’re doing. It doesn’t mean that every time you have the ball at your feet, you’re trying to take someone on in a 1-on-1 situation. You should be passing first, or dribbling to pass or score.”
Returning a large senior class for the 2018 season should make the transition to Kettner’s new scheme easier. The biggest challenge lies in getting an experienced, athletic group of players to buy into the new program and philosophy following the departure of Kliminski.
“I think Kurt did a great job getting it to where it’s at today,” Kettner added. “I want to see how we can build on that and take it even further. My overall objective is for the guys to have a positive experience. That’s not based upon wins and losses; that’s based upon whether or not they feel they can step away at the end of the season and say that first, they had a fun time. It is a sport; people have got to have fun playing it.”
The Badger North looks to be wide open this year after last fall’s conference champion Mount Horeb, who also claimed the Division 3 state title, graduates a large senior class, including five all-conference players.
“There’s no reason why these guys shouldn’t be at or near the top every year in the Badger North,” said Kettner of Waunakee’s chances in the conference. “If we can achieve that, we can look back on this year and say that it was a good success. It lays down the first layer of a foundation for the years to come.”
Above all, Kettner remains dedicated to improving the lives of the individuals that make up Waunakee’s soccer family.
“I’m committed to the community. I’m committed to making the program successful. Foremost, I’m committed to the players…” Kettner said. “If we, as coaches, can make a difference in just one person’s life, that is going to give them the opportunity to be more successful than they have in the past. That’s a huge win in my book.”
Dave Kettner
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