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Boys Soccer: Grausam gets chance to lead Warriors

Tom Grausam

Age: 47

Occupation: Physical education teacher, Garfield Elementary School, Brainerd

High school: Mankato West 1986 graduate

College: Mankato State 1991 graduate, masters in education 1996 St. Mary's University (Winona)

After five years as an assistant coach in the program, and with Tony Smith's resignation following last season, Tom Grausam believes he's ready to be head coach of the Brainerd Warriors boys soccer team.

Grausam was hired June 11 by Warrior activities director Charlie Campbell. The Warriors finished 3-13 last season. They were outscored 93-12 and were shut out nine times.

"I believe we (coaches and community) can turn the program back into a winning program and be competitive," Grausam said. "Right now we always do well in the summer. When (players) get to high school, the gap widens. I want to close the gap between other schools and Brainerd.

"Last year was a tough year. We played lot of tough teams - (St. Cloud) Apollo was the (Class 1A) state champion, Anoka was the (2A) state champion. I just want to try to improve the boys, turn them in the right direction.

"I'm pretty much an old-school coach. Work hard in practice, good things come during games. Practice should be harder than games. Games should be easy."

The Warriors were a relatively inexperienced squad last fall with five freshmen playing extensively.

"I believe in the basics and simple things and develop them," said Grausam, who's in the process of hiring assistant coaches. "I believe in the program. Winning is contagious just as well as losing is contagious. We need to change that mentality."

Campbell believes Grausam's background in the program should make the transition to a new coach virtually seamless.

"Tom's association with our program - the players and parents - will help to ensure a smooth transition," Campbell said. "Tom brings a hands-on philosophy to continuing to grow our soccer programs in the Brainerd lakes area."

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at mike.bialka@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark .

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