Gross’ hat trick lifts Demons
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Glenwood Springs boys soccer coach Steve White brought an old, purple practice pinny over to Foster Gross and handed it to the senior forward.
The pinny, which White’s grandson dug out of old equipment bags, will be handed out to the Demons’ player of the game in the wake of every contest.
Just one game into his second tenure as head coach of the boys soccer program, the veteran coach is already starting new traditions. He certainly hopes winning, as Glenwood did on Tuesday against visiting Grand Junction, becomes one of those traditions.
With Gross finding net three times, Gabriel Yen burying a penalty kick and Jose Betencourt making a number of acrobatic saves, the Demons opened 2012 with a 4-0 win over the Tigers.
“It’s good to be out here,” said White, who last coached Glenwood’s boys program in 1998. “Without my family’s support, I wouldn’t be able to do this. It’s pretty satisfying to be able to work with these great guys and watch them develop.”
On Tuesday, those guys certainly rallied behind White, who is also the school’s girls soccer coach.
After Mauricio Ocha Escandon drew a foul inside the box in the 19th minute, Yan set up and buried a penalty kick to put the Demons up a goal.
Gross struck for his first goal in the 44th minute, scoring off an assist from Mats Rosen.
Gross added goals in both the 75th and 79th minute to finish off his hat trick. Betencourt and Ocha Escandon had the assists as Class 4A Glenwood Springs polished off the win against 5A Grand Junction.
“We were just moving the ball around and making passes that were very accurate and on target,” said Gross, who transferred from Aspen High School last school year. “And we just hustled. I mean, we just had the hustle, and that’s what it comes down to.”
Said White: “They were physical players and were bringing it to us. We held our composure and kept the ball to the ground like we wanted to. We had a lot of give-and-go passing and a few through-balls that worked for us. We adjusted to every part of the game they brought to us, which was satisfying.”
Next up for the Demons is a Thursday trip to face 4A Western Slope League newcomer Summit.
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Burning Mountain Park in New Castle will illuminate Saturday evening at the town’s Holiday Tree Lighting and Chili Cook-off between 5 and 7 p.m.