The boys of Southwestern’s Varsity soccer team know exactly what their intention is on the field. Before a game against Fredonia last Wednesday, the players congregated in a tightly knit circle on the sideline, heads bent together. They yelled out in a unified voice: “Every day get better and better!”
According to head coach Jason Deering, that’s exactly what their 2017 season is all about: improvement. The team wants to be better than any other Southwestern team that’s previously taken the field. And so far, the team is accomplishing that goal: at the time of press, it stood undefeated with an impressive record of 11-0. This week, Deering sat down with the Jamestown Gazette to discuss not only his team’s achievements, but also the athletes on his roster and the progress of the Southwestern soccer program as a whole.
Cortney: How long have you been coaching soccer?
Coach Deering: I coached the modified team for the last three years. This is my first year with the Varsity team. I’ve coached a long time before this with the summer rec programs, and I’m now the Director of Soccer Programming at the Southwestern Soccer Club.
Cortney: Over the years, how have you seen the soccer program develop at Southwestern?
Coach Deering: All the strong development really started before, with the Southwestern Soccer Club, which runs under the direction of Joe Hoose. Along the last five to seven years, a couple of us coaches began pushing hard to get some extra training opportunities for our kids. We wanted to get them and keep them entrusted in the sport of soccer. Since I joined the school team and began coaching modified, I’ve seen some areas where our players could use improvement, both the male and female athletes. So we implemented summer sessions and special individual trainings. We also developed curriculums for our rec programs so that all the kids are getting the same training. That makes it easier for the coaches, too. Hopefully these sorts of things will keep our high school program running strong. We want to keep up the success that we’ve had over the last 10 years or so.
Cortney: Tell me a little about the boys on your team.
Coach Deering: We only have four seniors this year. The group of juniors that I have – four of them have been starting for Varsity since they were freshmen. They also play in the spring leagues together, so they have a chemistry that is very strong. We also have a couple sophomores that have been starting for the last two years, four freshmen, and an eighth grader who has also made starts. We have depth. We’re fairly young, but that can be a good thing.
Cortney: What were your goals coming into this season?
Coach Deering: Our hope has been that we go farther than any other Southwestern team. However we need to do that – whether that means an undefeated season or not – that’s our goal. More personally, one of my goals is that I would like to see some of these kids playing college soccer one day. That’s one of my hopes as the coach, that some of them will be able to continue the sport past high school.
To read more of Cortney Linnecke’s creative and informative contributions to the Jamestown Gazette, please go to www.jamestowngazette.com.