Crete-Monee senior Jake Cogan doesn't care how he helps his team, as long as he's helping.
Cogan can score goals when the Warriors need, and he can assist others around him to score goals.
He's the centerpiece on a Warrior team that is looking to again contend for a Southland Athletic Conference title. He is also the clock that makes the Warriors tick, the glue that holds the team together and just about any other phrase you want to use that describes Cogan as the heart and soul of the team.
"My role on this team is to be the guy to go to win games," he said. "This year, I'm just looking to win games. Just go all out and win games."
If the Warriors need Cogan to step up and score more goals in 2013, that's what the senior captain will do. Cogan is coming off of a 16-goal season in 2012 and has scored 36 goals in his three years at the varsity level. He's been a starter since his freshman season, and he's been a Times All-Area selection each of the past two years. Cogan's total of 28 assists in three years is also a testament to his ability to facilitate for others. If that's what he needs to do for the Warriors to win, Cogan is all for it.
"If I have to pass the ball, I pass the ball," Cogan said. "But if I have a chance to score, I'm going to try and score. Anything to win the game."
The Warriors finished 7-3 in SAC play a year ago, and two of their three conference losses in 2012 came at the hands of rival Bloom Township. The league title has been going through either Bloom or Crete-Monee the past few years, and Cogan is looking for the Warriors to reclaim the conference crown.
"This year I feel like we can actually win the conference," he said. "It's my last year, so I'm going to go all out and try to win it all. Bloom's always good. I think this year we'll pull it out down the stretch. Our whole team has one goal on our mind, and that's to win conference."
Crete-Monee coach Julian Lagunas will look to Cogan, along with junior midfielder Fernando Aguirre and senior defender Brandon Hickey, to lead the Warriors on the pitch.
"Fernando, Jake, and Brandon, really need to have complete games for us to be competitive," Lagunas said. "We are depending on their leadership to win games and play late in the year."
The Warriors will look to their work ethic and their determination to win games in 2013, and Cogan is a good example for the younger players to look to for leadership.
"For us to win this year, we have to have to be highly determined to win," Cogan said. "We have to just go all out. Give it our all."