Coaches Reflect on the Spring Season

(Photo courtesy of FCHS

(Photo courtesy of FCHS

Janey Pham, Staff Writer

This spring season for sports kicked off with a pretty fresh start for many teams as they began their first game of 2015 in March. As time quickly sped up, teams, along with their coaches, continued to practice as much as they could before they went head-to-head with their opponents.  Through many excitements of winning, struggles of losing, their teams still stuck together through thick and thin throughout the season until the end of the school year.   Five spring sports coaches shared their thoughts about how the year went, as well as their goals for next year as a coach.

Mr. Jim Clark is the Varsity Coach of the girls soccer team here at FCHS.  Despite the fact that he doesn’t actually teach here, he takes the time everyday to come train and support our Lady Jags, who he complimented by saying, “The Falls Church Lady Jags have achieved much success this year.  The girls began to believe in themselves, which created their own success.” He remarked on their improvement this year by saying, “We moved from seventh in the conference last year, to third in the conference this year. This was due in large part to scoring 27 goals this year, versus six all of last year. That combined with a tougher defense, led to five wins, compared to one win last year.  Success across the board.”

We all saw the Lady Jags’ success throughout the season, but what are his goals for next year as a coach?  He answered by saying he has no goals as a coach “other than the success and happiness of my girls.  I believe this group of girls can go far this season in the Conference 13 playoffs, and I would hope for nothing less than a Conference 13 Championship either this year or next.”

Ms. Jamie Harrison teaches many different classes as she is an Economics Personal Finance teacher, Early Childhood Careers teacher, Senior Class Advisor, and last but not least, the Varsity Coach for softball.  I started by asking her, “What are some accomplishments you think you and your team have achieved this year?” She replied by saying, “The team has worked really hard this year to improve on our fundamentals and work as a team.” I wondered what her goals might be for next year as a coach. “My goal is to continue to build our team and get more Falls Church girls involved in the sport of softball.”

Mr. Carson Dye has been a Varsity Coach for boys lacrosse here at FCHS since 2012 and still is up until today. One goal that Coach Dye has is “to make an athlete a better student. You know if sports impact you from your education then it really disconnects. So the result of that is that we try to build a really comprehensive program where kids understand the responsibilities inside the classrooms in order to appear outside of the lacrosse field. When that happens, you get real commitment that leads to other goals which then brings success on to the field.”

Through many struggles of losing and excitements of winning, Coach Dye was still proud of his team no matter what. I then asked him, “What were some accomplishments you think you and your team have achieved this year that made you so proud?” He took his time answering my question, saying,” With any type of sport, you really come together as a team and become close as family and that shows in the field so I think that going from February to now, we’ve come a long way in that arena and that really is a way your team can become successful and I’m pretty proud of the kids for that.”

Mr. Ryan Kenna is an AP Statistics teacher here at FCHS and is also the Varsity Coach of girls tennis. For the first time in “my life in three or four years, we finished in fourth place out of 18 in our Conference, so that was a big plus side for us.  Another accomplishment that we were able to achieve was that we had three seniors who were in the top six so I’m pretty proud of them for that,” he remembered excitedly. “I honestly think we just grew over the season and improved a lot. We also had a lot of new faces this year and in my opinion, the biggest accomplishment this year was that the new players on our team really developed and improved big time and hopefully next year they’ll be able to come back on to the court with us.”

His main goal for next year is to “keep improving. I want everyone to continue to work hard just like they have this year and hopefully we’ll be able to improve on our finishing from fourth place to maybe third, second, or even first place.” He continued on by saying, “The main goal of every game is to win but our main goal is to at least stay at a high level of play, or better yet, improve.”

Mr. Robert Lukacevic is the Varsity Coach of boys tennis, and I wanted to know what accomplishments he and his team achieved throughout this season.  “We became a competitive force among teams who were at our skill level. This was demonstrated by our win-loss record of 6-8,” he replied quickly. When asked what were his goals as a coach for next year, his answer was, “After this year, I will be retiring from coaching.”

Mr. Kristopher Benton is the Varsity Coach of boys soccer, and he expressed how proud he was of the struggles his team went through.  The proudest accomplishment he found best was “that we’ve had some injuries and some unexpected things that happened this season. It honestly gave some second string players an opportunity to play and they’ve really developed as players just from the experience they’ve had this year.”  He continued by saying, “I honestly think that I’m just really proud of the accomplishments of the team to over come the things that happened at the beginning of the season and to see some of the players and the younger players really develop.”

As he expressed how proud he was of his boys, he also listed two main goals he had as a coach to help improve next year’s season. “As a coach, the goal obviously is to always make the team successful in two ways. You want them to be more successful in terms of wins and losses, but you also want them to be more successful in terms of how they’re playing the game.” He continued on by saying, “Next year I’m hoping we have a better win-loss record but I also hope that we play better as a team as well. Oh and one more thing, I hope that all of the players, in any sport, take what they’ve learned this year and build upon it next year.”