This is the first communication for parents and players for the fall 2019 Boys HS soccer program at St Anthony. I want to make sure a number of things are covered and information is put out early.
History: This is our 3rd season as a stand-alone program. There have been growing pains, some high points and a few low points. Overall, I believe the program is going in the right direction. Our record improved as did the play. Most of the bugs are worked out of the program, however, we still have a few to get ironed out and that is the goal this season.
Expectations: My goal is to pass on the love of the sport and to prepare the players for the challenges of what comes after high school and what it takes to be a productive member of society. I fully support all the players and all the teams and consider us one program. I expect the players to be on time and to put forth maximum effort at all events. I also expect the players to talk to their respective coaches if there is an issue. In the same theme, I expect parents to come to me only if the situation was not satisfactorily resolved. We only talk about the respective player and will not discuss other players. I have no problem talking to any parent but if there is an issue it needs to be addressed to the proper coach first. Please show the coaches the respect they have earned and give them an opportunity to address the issue.
Communication: This has been an ongoing issue. Some parents are getting all the information and some are not. Last year we attempted to post information on the school web site, Team Snap and Groupme, e-mails, and by telling and reminding the players. This year there will be 2 primary ways for parents to get information, the web site and by e-mail. Groupme and Team Snap are for players and coaches to maintain contact with each other and for information that is time sensitive like location changes etc. Groupme will be the way the players will communicate until teams are selected. Team Snap will be primary once teams are selected. If there is a message for the players of the program it will be on Groupme. Parents are welcome to be on these sites, but the primary users are the players. It is your responsibility to check the high school website and your e mail for information https://www.letsgohuskies.com.
Fundraising: In the past, there has been an incredible lack of participation by the players, and it will change. This is a necessary part of playing high school sports. It is not fair that some kids do the work and others receive the benefits. I fully expect the assistance of parents to ensure your player is attending the fundraisers. This year we will be trying a different fundraiser. It is selling a coupon type flyer. It has about 16 various cards that can be used all year and will cost $20. We will sell this as a program during the same time. The date is likely 17th of AUG, Saturday, but that is not for sure yet. There will be prizes both cash and items for meeting various goals. The other fundraiser is our annual summer camp for young kids and is mandatory for all seniors.
Tryouts: Tryouts will start the 12th of AUG from 9-11 and 12:30-2 at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Please see calendar for specifics. There will be a bus from the high school to-and-from Blaine the week we practice there. It is scheduled to pick up from SAVHS at 8 am and will drop off at SAVHS sometime around 2:45. We will likely announce teams on the 14th of AUG, Wednesday, after the second practice.
Teams and cut policy: We will have 3 teams, varsity, JV, and C squad. The varsity team will have about 16 players on it. The other two will be around 18. The C squad will be made up of primarily 7th and 8th graders with a few 9th graders. We believe it is an amazing opportunity for these players to be part of the high school program. They are our future, not an afterthought. They will be better prepared the more exposure to the program and better competition they get. They will have an opportunity to make one of the other two teams, but they must perform at the appropriate level. Per school policy 9th graders cannot be cut and 12th graders cannot play on lower level teams. No spot is guaranteed. A senior will have to make the varsity team to play, and if they make the varsity team it is because they have earned a spot.
Duluth: The Duluth trip is planned. The dates are the 21st and 22nd of AUG, Wednesday and Thursday. We have some quotes and are waiting on some more for the busses. The price will be communicated as soon as we have it. This is for varsity and JV. We will be taking two buses this year, one for us and one for the girls. The buses will tentatively leave at 5 am on Wednesday and return after the last game on Thursday. We will be staying at the Suites Hotel in Duluth. The games are similar to last year. We scrimmage on Wednesday. and then play Mesabi East on Thursday. Our JV will play a varsity game against Two Harbors for the second game. While this isn’t optimum, it is an opportunity to get things organized before we go into the season. I will continue to work on getting one of the Duluth teams or Hibbing to play so both teams get 3 games, but the other schools haven’t had spots. They are aware of my desire. We are tentatively going to Split Rock Lighthouse this year. We will have at least 2 coaches up there. When we return to Duluth for the evening, we will eat dinner and then the players are free to walk around Canal Park. As has been the practice in the past, they will be in groups with a leader and a mixture of all grades. The leader will be required to check in with one of the coaches at certain points during the evening. They know the boundaries (don’t go over the bridge, cross the highway, or cross water) and they have been very good about this. This is a team building event and also an opportunity for some freedom but yet are supervised. They have a set time to be in their rooms and for lights out. As is custom, I will physically check the rooms to ensure they are all where they are supposed to be. There is a pool in the hotel and they provide breakfast.
Practices: We will (with the exception of the first week) be practicing by the pavilion for all teams. We have a second set of full-sized goals which were donated. There will be at least one life lesson a week that each team will participate in. I am hoping to have all the teams practicing from 3-5 ish. The varsity team will likely go 3-5 or 5:30 on Mondays so we can do some film work before practice. As a rule, the only reason practices are canceled/changed is due to weather. We will have plenty of coaches to cover if a coach has a pressing issue.
Games: This year the varsity teams will play back to back for conference games. Unfortunately, we only have 5 home games. This is due to the schedule and us changing some opponents. The C squad will play a combination of middle school and 9th grade teams. We had a lot of bus issues that caused a lot of pain. The AD and Asst AD have worked hard to ensure this won’t happen this year.
Coaches: Our coaches have changed this year. Allie will be working as my assistant and doing fitness work for the program. It looks like we will have 2 new coaches. I am in negotiations with both of them at this time. They are great guys with solid soccer backgrounds.