Tyler Cordes is ready to lead his Connetquot team in 2020. The midfielder steps into a huge leadership role following last year’s departures. The team went 8-8 last season, a record that Cordes plans to change going into his final season at the school. After his recent committal to Navy, the LILJ talked to him about ways the teams improving and expectations for his senior year. Click below to read the full interview!
Q: Congrats on your committal to Navy. Why did you choose the school?
A: I fell in love with Navy the first time and every time since I have stepped onto campus. I believe the Naval Academy is best for me and can help me for the rest of my life and achieve my goals. Going to the Naval Academy will not just strengthen existing values and traits I believe I already have, but it will teach and instill new ones, and will only make me a better person, a better man, and better prepared throughout my life.
Q: Your team went 8-8 during the regular season. In what ways is your team working to improve on this record in 2020?
A: We had a very young team last year after many senior starters had graduated in 2018, so working better and closer as a unit will be a focus this season. If we can take care of some of the fundamentals like turnovers and ground balls we will be a better team and our record will show that. We have the talent and the players. Coach Jeffares and all the coaches have done a great job in the fall and off-season and are working really hard to give us the best opportunity to win.
Q: What are some expectations that you have for the team? What about yourself?
A: I’m expecting us to have a better team this year and have a good season. I think our defense is stronger, smarter and will play great together. Jack McAteer in goal is one of the best in the county. We are stronger, faster and more athletic in the middle of the field this year. That should help a lot with ground balls and ball possession. Our starting offense was basically entirely turned-over after the 2018 season with all the offensive starters graduating except for me. So we will be a better unit this season being our 2nd year playing together and the younger players having the experience from last season.
For myself, my #1 goal is to be more consistent, game in and game out, and throughout the entire season. To bring the same intensity, effort and most importantly, results, to each game to help my team win and go deep into the playoffs. I expect to leave everything I have and more on the field, and enjoy the last few months as a T-Bird.
Q: What will you miss most playing for Connetquot?
A: I will miss the bonds with the players and on the team and playing with some of my best friends I’ve been playing with since kindergarten. I will especially miss the time and unbelievable relationships with all my coach’s. They have been coaching me since 8th grade and I have so many great experiences with them and can’t wait to see what this year brings. Playing for Connetquot has made me a better player but has also taught me how to be a leader and I will miss playing for a team I have put so much time and effort into.
Q: Who has had the greatest impact on your sports career and why?
A: There isn’t one specific person who has impacted my sports career the most. I played a lot of different sports growing up and there have been so many great coaches that have all meant so much to me and I was very close to. However, two people I would say that have had the most impact on me is my dad and Joe Spallina. Coach Joe has been my travel coach on Crush since 2nd grade and pushed me to a level in my game that I would never have found and gotten to without him. He cared about how I was doing on and off the field and I loved playing for him. My Dad has been my biggest fan in everything I do. He’s always trying to help and give advice on improving my game. He’s taught me my skills and athleticism is only one part I need to work on, and the mental part of the game is just as important. I believe I have learned a lot about life and play my game the way I do because of him.