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On the sidelines with Cleburne assistant soccer coach Chris Gannaway

Mar. 11—Get to know Cleburne assistant soccer coach Chris Gannaway on and off the field.

Talk about the success Cleburne has had on the soccer field this year. What has impressed you most about the team thus far?

"I would say that the overall willingness to be great has impressed me. They work hard at practice. They are good but they work hard to be great."

What would you say has been a staple of the culture of Cleburne boys soccer and how have you seen the leaders on the team lead by example?

"The culture that Coach (Micah) Knorr is trying to instill in the soccer players is one of hard work, dedication and excellence. The leaders on the team are examples of this in everything that they do, whether it be practice, game, the hallway or out in public in the community of Cleburne or the communities of the schools where we play."

What are some goals the boys have for the rest of the regular season and postseason?

"I would say that our ultimate goal is to win the Class 5A state boys soccer championship."

Have there been any challenges along the way that you've seen the team overcome this year? Explain?

"We have had injuries throughout the season and sickness that we have had to overcome. There have been multiple games where we have not had a full squad, but we have kept fighting and we have continued to work hard to get through the season."

When you aren't coaching soccer how do you most enjoy spending your free time?

"When I am not coaching, I love to just stay at home and relax with my wife. When we get time off, we love to travel."

What initially got you interested in soccer and what led you to coaching?

"What led me to coaching soccer this season was the opportunity to help Coach Knorr out as his assistant. It is my first time coaching soccer, but I feel that it has been a rewarding year so far."

In your opinion, who are some of the soccer team's top players and why?

"I look at our best players as those that are well rounded and help us out by more than scoring. Our keeper Nolan Crawford has been the leader in the net this year. I think he is an unsung hero because, if the team does well, they get the credit. If we are unsuccessful and lose, he gets the blame. I also feel that Evan Melton has been a huge asset defensively. His size helps us with our defense and holding the other team from scoring. Miguel Sanchez has been a driving force in making our defense work as hard as it has and be as successful as it has. Those three are the ones that I would consider to be the unsung heroes."

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only live off one food item and one beverage in infinite supply for the rest of your days, what would your choices be?

"Diet Dr Pepper and steak. I love to drink Diet Dr. Pepper and I love to eat steak — I would eat it every night if I could."