If you get the chance, take a few minutes to speak with Bryan Searle, the new head coach of the Lady Trojans soccer team.
Ask a few questions about the upcoming season. Perhaps, ask about the group of talented, experienced returning players preparing to mix in with some strong incoming athletes. Ask about team goals that have been set, goals that include community involvement, fund raising, increasing the ability of youth players in the community to interact with the team and coaches. And be sure to ask about the strong showing in a recent team camp in Cedar City at Southern Utah University.
If you do speak with the new coach, remember that all these things are happening right now, even before official tryouts have taken place. It will be easy to see that the future is bright for the Lady Trojans, and the enthusiasm of the coaches and players is contagious.
Coach Searle, along with varsity assistants Rob McGreer and Chris VanOrden as well as J.V. head coach Madeline Carrigan, have hit the road running. Since May 28, the coaches have offered their time and talents to train any new or returning players. Much of it has been conditioning, but time has also been taken to teach new techniques, tactics and introducing life lessons to the squad.
When asked about his coaching philosophy, Searle mentioned several things. “I actually have many philosophies about the game, but the biggest is that I expect everybody to be able to play offense, and everybody to play defense. I also believe that this is a place where life lessons can be taught, that there is more to life than just soccer. Scholastics are a top priority over soccer. Respect for self, for family, teammates, school and community.”
He continued saying, “We are teaching the girls that when you are playing, you are not just representing yourself. The way you play, act, handle yourself, how you react on the field, is a direct reflection of who you are and what you represent. Something we have really pushed over the last four weeks is that we are trying to get them to think ‘bigger,’ that they represent more than just themselves.”
As is common with soccer coaches, coach Searle got into coaching because of his own kids. Having never really played the game much past the AYSO level as a youth, Searle started coaching his son at the AYSO level 11 years ago. He then moved on to assisting a team at Wasatch Soccer Club, then coached a U-9 youth girls team with Morgan Storm for three seasons. The last two seasons he has been the J.V. boys coach at the high school. Now as head coach of the girls’ team, he also is coaching a Wasatch Elite team.
Searle believes that it is important for parents not only introduce children to the game at a young age, but also introduce and stress the fundamentals as early as possible. “AYSO is a great starting place. The sooner you can get young players into competition level teams and leagues, their skills really increase. Being strong in fundamentals is the key to everything.”
As the off-season quickly progresses to pre-season games and then regular season games and playoffs, the coaches and players have one huge goal: to get the community involved and excited about the soccer program here at Morgan High.
During the 2009 season the squad made it to RioTinto stadium and played in the state finals, losing 1-0 to an always-strong Juan Diego High school squad. Coach Searle and players believe a strong bond with the community will help get them back to the title game soon.
“Our players have been out in the community getting donations and sponsors. We are offering to hang large advertising banners on the fence at our home games. A $1,000 donation will give businesses a banner that will hang on the fences for two years. I believe we already have four or five sponsors on board. “
Searle went on to say, “We would like to use this money to do several things. First and foremost we would like to buy and erect an American flag at the field. Secondly, we would like to purchase a portable sound system in order to play the National Anthem pre-game as well as announce starting lineups for each team. We would also like to improve the home field here at the high school and fix the north end of the field with a net so soccer balls do not go over the fence towards the river. Lastly, we would like to get pictures of the team with our schedule out to all local businesses.”
Coach Searle mentioned two specific upcoming events that he would like the local youth players and parents to be aware of. First is the upcoming youth soccer camp at the high school. For three days beginning Monday, Aug. 11 through Wednesday, Aug. 13, players ages 4 and up will be instructed in the fundamentals by the coaching staff and incoming players. Camp will run from 8 - 9:45 a.m. and will include a knapsack and water bottle.
The coaches would like to include local competition youth players here in Morgan by allowing them to be ball girls at home games. Youth would sit near the north and south goals assisting in rounding up stray balls that go out of play and introducing a new ball into the game as needed. High school t-shirts would be provided to these young ball girls in hopes that they would continue to come out and support the team.
Come out and support the Lady Trojans soccer team. Their first home game is Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 3:30 p.m. against Stansbury High School. The second home game is the following week on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 3:30 p.m. against Roy High School. Be sure to follow the Lady Trojans throughout the season on their Facebook page “Morgan High School Girls Soccer.”