ANDERSON TWP – When Adam Jones took over the Redskins’ boys soccer coaching duties, he wanted to establish a culture based on team chemistry and brotherhood.
He had no idea how literally this team would take to the new mantra.
The team has four sets of brothers: Peter and Patrick Dames, Luke and Matt Fickenworth, Drew and Adam Mathews and Sam and Max Kunkemoeller.
“I came into Anderson back in January and I’ve just always felt like the sense of family is important on a team,” Jones said. “To be honest, one of the reasons I got into coaching and teaching was because of my brother… I got into education and teaching to hopefully make a difference for these kids. I look at these guys as my little brothers.”
Drew and Adam Mathews agree, and their teammates likely do as well, that this team’s chemistry is the biggest factor in its turnaround.
“We definitely did not have very good chemistry from seasons past,” Drew said. “We weren’t on the same page.”
In each of the past three seasons, the Redskins managed to win only three games. This season, they’ve already won six games, are ranked No. 8 in the city and are ready for more.
Adam Mathews said there’s almost a telepathy among the brothers. They know where each other will be located on the field and what each will do with the ball.
It’s one of the reasons Jones tries to pair brothers together.
“They all make us better and provide good minutes,” the coach said. “It seems to be second nature with the guys that are brothers. A lot of the time, I try to play Pete and Pat together. Now that Max is healthy, I like to put him on the wing and Sam at the forward spot so they can work together. Matt and Luke Fickenworth have played every single minute and are big reasons why we are strong defensively.”
Having brothers on the same team is one thing, having them cooperate and bond is another. Fortunately, Jones said seasons past and the rigorous offseason really didn’t give them a chance to do anything but get along with each other.
“It’s great,” Adam said. “I love playing with Drew and he’s a big influence on what I do. He holds me accountable for the things I do on the field both good and bad.”
The Redskins have a good start to the season, but they aren’t anywhere near satisfied with the early results. They feel there is more to improve.
Even though it came during a loss to Turpin last week, Jones said they played some of the best soccer they’ve played all season in the second half of that game.
“I fully believe this is just the beginning for Anderson soccer,” he said.