Monday, August 17, 2009

New Season

The High School Soccer season started today. First day of practice.
The alarm went off this morning and I thought, well, all the players are excited. Most of them. Some will forget water and even some will forget something to eat. Some did not realize that today was the day.
I thought about it and hit the snooze button. I am retired.
Yes - I do miss it.
Yes - I do miss most of the players. Some are actually funny and some are actually talented.
Yes- there are lessons to be learned for life at camp.
Actually got message from one of the players that said I was really missed.
Well - I miss them too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Under the knife and ramblings

After 9 long months of putting up with pain that seems to get worse by the week, I am having surgery again. Almost 2 years to the day. This time not the knee. It's the Achilles.
I have 3 bone spurs - 2 back by the Achilles and one in the arch. My left Achilles is now twice the size of my right. I have had to cut back to playing soccer only one night a week and it still hurts like hell after playing. It's gotten to the point where just walking around the yard starts the hurt. Surgeon believes that this is causing the planters fasciitis.
We will see.
I will be totally off of the foot for 3 weeks and on crutches, then into a boot for 4 weeks with physical therapy - AGAIN. Already had 6 weeks of that. Yes it worked. Foot improved about 50% but I still had to take the voltarin for the inflammation and pain.
Hopefully I'll be back in playing form around the end of October. Just in time for the next session.
I hate not playing. Watching is fun - but not as fun.

For any of the Pius players that still read this - 7 days until camp with the new coach.
Remember that this is the last and final year of St. Pius. The division will be changed next year and you will be playing the big schools twice - because PP2 will be a AAA school.
Play your best always.
Why is it that some of the problem children from last year send me friend requests from facebook? Are they really that dumb - or do they really think they are THAT smart?
Nah... just dumb. They got what they wanted. They are in for a eye opener when they grow up.

The Senior Nomads should have a good team this session. If everyone just talks, listens and passes the ball when they should (instead of trying to do it all by themselves) they will be contenders again. I know that some hesitate to pass the ball to some of us older members because yes - we do lose the ball. But guess what? So do you. Just as much. We are all out to play the game the best we can - for FUN. I want to win too. Please do not get me wrong - this is a great bunch of guys.

Another funny from coaching.
One of the smaller players on the varsity team got hit in the nuts early in the morning during warm ups. He goes down holding himself and moaning in pain.
Next drill is a trapping drill and - yes - you guessed it - gets nailed there again.
After said person recovers again and comes back to the playing field we switch to small sided 3 v 3 games.
Yeap - another player tries to meg him and goes high. Player falls over like a stone wall onto the ground. By this time he is really pissed and really in pain.
Then comes our mid morning break. I ask if he wants some ice for said area and he declines. Okay - I guess he is doing fine.
First drill after break is a passing/trapping drill and I fear that some wise ass is going to nail him again. Nope - we made it through that one.
Next we do spots never stop - so that he is safe.
Next drill is throw-ins doing 3 men moving.
Yeap - you guess it. He is checking to the thrower. The thrower 'misses' his feet and hits him square right there. Said player actually catches the ball as it hits him and falls to the ground.
He is sooooooooooo pissed that he takes the ball and wings it at the throwers head and hits him square in the head. The rest if the team is laughing so hard that it the 'injured' one is screaming to stop laughing because it's not funny and it hurts when he laughs.
I am almost in tears from laughing so hard.
I let the player sit out for the rest of the practice.
Two years ago we had one come this close to this one. But this one was funnier.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Answers, rumors, schedule and more from the first year.

Answer to Anonymous: Yes, it was Mesz. Reason: he played with all that he had every single game.

Rumor: ducky's dad (Mr. DeLeo to all of the players) is new coach. I wish him the best of luck and if he needs anything - please let me know. This is the final year for the old St. Pius X school. Maybe - just maybe they can go out with a threat to the rest of the pac10 because next year they will not be a "A" school. They will be a "AAA" like OJR and Boyertown.

Schedule for 2009 is posted: just use the link and change the year. You boys will have a very, very busy schedule especially after the 09 September.

First year funnies too:
There was a Saturday morning at Holy name and we had to meet at school at 7:30. Some of the players went to McDonalds for breakfast (really bad meal for pregame). They also had left over coffee for some of the other players (nice of them) and brought it on the bus.
There was a JV player that year who thought he should be on varsity. All that he had was speed. Nothing else - period. Could not control the ball under pressure if his life depended on it. Even tripped over the ball when he attempted to speed dribble. He also had a mouth and thought he was funny. Almost all of the varsity players thought he was nothing but a goof/jerk. You know the saying - walks like a goof, talks like a goof, then it is a .........
We get about 15 minutes into the drive and said player falls a sleep leaning against the window. With his mouth OPEN and snoring away. Me and my assistant are new to the coaching high school players so, like dopes we sit up in front of the bus. Really can't see what is going on in the back unless you turn completely around.
There is some loud laughs and talk and I ask them to settle down - but I know something is going down. Just do not know what -yet......
Remember those extra coffees? Well those coffees come with creamers in those little containers that just happen to fit in the palm of ones hand. You can get a whole lot of them on your hand. Needless to say one of the players in the back of the bus opens a lot of these and with both hands dumps them on the sleeping player with the mouth open. I catch some of this in the corner of my eye - but by then it's too late.
Said player looks like he was stuck under a cow and the whole bus is now laughing and screaming. Said player is now very pissed and every other word if F this and F that.
You all know how I feel about that especially being a Catholic school.
Said player also does not have a clue to who did this evil act to him.
I had to tell him and make the player say that he was sorry while still on the bus.
Originally I could not control myself when it happened and like the others started to laugh.
This was just the beginning of the "fun" this player had during his high school career.
I guess you just had to be there.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Post mortem

It has been months since I have written here.
I have avoided this because I knew I would miss coaching and really I do.
I have coached 10-11 months out of every year since 1992. That is a long time.
I also enjoy the "free" time that I have and spend most of it with my family or playing Call of Duty.
I have been playing in 2 leagues since then and injured myself 2 days before Christmas when we had 2 games the same night.
I have been playing in pain (and walking) with a tear in the Achilles and planters fasciitis since.
I keep asking people about my replacement. There are rumors that the school did hire a coach but it has not been confirmed.
You find out many things about the other coaches because retirement lets down every ones shields - so they talk more.
Lo and behold, I find that most of the coaches did not like me or the school. They felt that Pius should not have been in that league and that we should have played in some 'other' league. I have know that for years. But what I did not expect in this 21st century was that is was based on religion. I could have something to do with it too but just like racism I thought that most of that crap was gone. Nope........
Now I know why the only request for honorable mention was ignored and other incapable players received the honor instead of one of my players.
I hope and pray that this player makes them pay for it next year because he truly deserved it.
More to come.....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Retirement - Week 1

Thank you to those of you that have posted. I appreciate the kind words.
The best "gift" I could have received would have been a win at the Hill, my final game.
But still as a final remembrance will always be the "Quigley Run" play that almost worked.

I have had multiple requests about indoor soccer.
Sorry to say - I am not doing indoor soccer. Please let the complainers take over and do indoor.
I also have been asked if I will be at the Fall Sports Banquet. Again - sorry to say no, I will not be there. The reason being - open mike and current frame of mind equals bad speech and tongue lashing. So - I'd rather not take the chance...... 'nuff said.
Remembrances - August 2000.
First day of summer camp.
I was worried about how I was going to remember all of the names and get to know players by myself in 10 days. I knew a slim few from coaching at Pottsgrove Soccer and a few went to our church. I was nervous as hell and they knew it.
A few of them, being high school seniors, attempted to help by organizing the players and telling me who was good and who was far from it. Of course, if they were friends and liked the other player - well then - they were a good player. If they did not like you - then you were bad. Period.
It took me until the second day to figure this out. There was one that kind of mocked me when I yelled at them by saying "sir, yes sir". This lasted about 4 days until I singled him out for a shooting drill. I also found out the he was the kicker for the football team. No wonder he could not put the ball in the net even with out a keeper. He always put it 100mph and 10 feet over.
Frank and I, later in that week, came to an understanding and was actually a good kid.
I think they all came to an understand when we did the spots never stop drill for 25 minutes non-stop. That got their attention quick and started to gain some respect.
More later.......

Monday, October 20, 2008

Game Summary and Post Retirement

Game Summary - Hill School:
L 9-0. Overall record: 3-15. League: 2-11.

Was this a fitting finale for 9 years?
Yes it was. The usual.
Warm ups were slow and sloppy. Shooting started out good and finished with threat that if your shot was over - then you do not play today.
What did that get me? Shots at the keeper about 10mph. Typical..... I then had to resort to 30 pushups.
For the first few minutes we looked respectable - but the clue was no one talking except the Hill players and we were getting lucky.
Luck wore out and we let them run with the ball. Most times 1 on 1 which should had never been if we were a team.
Score at half - 7 to zip. More like a baseball score than soccer.
I attempted to be nice at halftime speech since this was my last, until the usual crap of someone talking in the group while I was trying to explain the usual of what was going wrong.
Then I kind of got mad. Again. I promised myself I would not let them get to me.
I told them that if this happened when I was in high school I would be embarrassed. I would be so angry at my team mates the I would have begged my coach to play for the whole team. I would have yelled at my friends to pick it up and do not back down after the first goal. I would have been so psyched that I probably would have been all over the field to cover who had that ball. I did not want it announced the next day or see it in the paper that we had lost so badly.
The rest is a blur.
We did play better the second half but not up the way we know how to play.
We had chances but made it easy for the keeper.
At the end after the handshakes the Hill coach thanked me for the years of coaching at Pius and that most would not have lasted as long. I knew exactly what he was talking about. But I'm not about winning. I am about playing your all. Giving me all that you have.
As I walked over to the bench, everyone was busy getting changed. Why? Who know. They could do that on the Bus.
Kane sat on the bench and said "yo - sit down. Are we having our post game speech?" I asked John why? What is there to talk about?
As I walked off the field carrying my bag for the last game, I looked around and took it all in. For this would probably be the last time I did this.

I thought back to the first Hill game when it was a battle in the first half. We were losing 1-0 at the time. I remember pulling Lauro and Kelleher out to show them the space they were giving us in the middle and designing a quick play for them. I subbed them both back in and seconds later Kelleher gets the ball and Lauro makes the run.
Kelleher puts the ball right on Lauro's feet making the run. Lauro steps on the ball and snaps his ankle. Bad.
Real bad. To the hospital bad.

As I got on the bus the usual mayhem ensued. I yelled for them to put all varsity uniforms in the bag.
The bus pulled into the Pius parking lot and it really felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders as this was the end.
The bus stopped and as usual they all start to get up and I have to yell for them to sit down and close the windows. You think they might have gotten used to that.
I tell them that it was an interesting season. To keep playing and have a great life.
That's it.
I started packing my car when Mr. Rodriguez came over to thank me for the season. I told him that I was done too. This came as a surprise to him.

Two players did come up to me and personally thank me.
They made it difficult for me to hold it together.
Rapp came up to me first and shook my hand and thanked me for everything .
Sein-Lwin came next about a minute later. Shook me hand and said "Thanks coach. We are going to have a great team next year. Sure you don't want to coach us?"
That was hard enough for me to keep it together.
I had a few beep and wave from their car.
Rapp and Sein-Lwin are class acts. They will go places in life and I'd bet on that.

In the future I'll post some other memories that I have of the years at Pius.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Last day of Coaching

Today I am resigning.
Today is my last game.
I have always thought about this day and when it would happen. It has happened sooner than I expected.
And - not on my terms. I expected to leave with a solid foundation built for the next coach.
I have been head coach in one form or another for 17 years, since the spring of 1992. That is longer than most of my players have been alive.
I have coached at Pius since 2000.
I have packed my last change of clothes. I have packed my last trunk full of equipment.
I have hit the snooze button at 4:45 for the last time.
This day is my last long day of my soccer career.
I wish to thank the people that supported me and helped any way they could.
You know who you are and a very heart felt thank you.

After my first year, I had set some goals for the team.
I wanted to beat Great Valley, OJR, Pottsgrove and Perk Valley. After Great Valley left our league and was replaced with Boyertown I wanted them the most.
Last year we came close.
Tied Boyertown 1-1 in double overtime.
Lost to OJR 1-0 in the last 5 minutes. Does not get better than that except for a win.
Came close to Pottsgrove in 2006 3-2 (Hill and Cocci scored) but lost to them later that year 3-0.
This year we came oh so close to Perk Valley and left them off the hook 3-2.

To those that criticized, undermined, and complained behind my back because THEY did not have the courage to talk to me face to face, I also say thank you.
You are giving me my life back.
I know who most of you are.
Now is the chance to put your time where your mouth is. Now is your chance to step up and do your duty. Come on now - please, step up and YOU take the coaching job.
All of your cackling, whispering, and complaining out loud to each other about the coaches DOES affect the way your son plays the game. It affects the other parents too.
And that spreads like a winter virus.
Do you have any idea of how much time it takes to be a head coach at the high school level?
Please step up to the plate to find out.
How about the off season stuff. Practices and coordination for indoor soccer.
How about the Sunday games.
How about the Open House at Pius and other meetings that you have to attend.
How about the Rules meetings and PAC10 meetings.
And don't forget dealing with the press.
Step up now and put your application in and also organize the indoor sessions for the boys.

Some parents and changes in the players are the reasons for me leaving.
Some players are there strictly because of a social thing.
Still some are there because of their parents.
Others are there that truly love the game, want to learn, and care if they win or lose.
The big changes I have seen in the players are:
  • Desire (lack thereof). This comes from within.
  • Respect (of teammates and coach). This starts at home. I had a player mouth off at the last practice. I was ready to walk off and leave until some of the seniors intervened. They actually wanted to make the offending player kiss my shoes. Why did this player even have to open his mouth?
  • Concern/Caring. (again - lack thereof. Some don't care if they lose 10-0).
  • Team Work.(What? Working together? Together Everyone Achives More). If a player tells another player what to do during a game - they either get offended, ignore them or better yet, I have seen parents yell at the players because player told their son what to do. What kind of team is this?
Come on parents and players. Are you guilty of any if these?
If so - fix it now so the next coach can have some success.

In closing I will miss most of this.
I was looking forward to interviewing for the coaching job at the new school.
Wow, I’d be able to pick and choose my players if I got the job, build a competitive team, and coach players that truly love the game.
I will miss coaching at Pius.
I will miss the interaction with the boys.
I will miss those little moments when they get it, and you can see it in their face.
I will miss those little victories when they score a goal or make an incredible steal.
I will miss that look on their face when I take them aside and tell them of the great job they did and what they can do to be better.
I will miss the players now on the team that love the game of soccer.
I will miss the excitement of each game.
I will miss some of the stories that I bring home and tell my wife and children.
I will truly miss coaching at Pius.

Good luck and God Bless to the real players and parents.

Lastly - how come no one ever posted any comments?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Uniforms and stuff for the end of season

Home uniforms will be collected at practice on Thursday.
For the Hill School on Friday - there will be NO notes for rides home.
Everyone will ride the bus back to Pius on Friday.
Away uniforms will be collected on the bus on Friday.
If you are absent on Friday - you must deliver your uniform to my home by Wednesday. The Athletic Director will not accept your uniform.

Game Summary - Penn Wood
L 4-0. Overall record: 3-14. League: 2-11.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Game Summary - Phoenixville

What is there to summarize that we already do not know?
Like I said - at half time - we did not step to the ball. They won 90% of any balls.
We waited for them to make the trap and then watched them dribble away. Can't win games that way.
The exception was the defense and Budnick.
Budnick had 4 chances to score and missed.
We had the chances but once again either wide or over.
We had other chances but nobody listened to the guy behind you calling for the drop or telling you what to do.
Did you?
The exception was Cocci.
He did what he was told most of the time. He also pressured people on the ball. Slow sometimes but he is starting to get it.
Did you?
YOU have to want it.
YOU have to want to play.
YOU have to want to work at.
YOU have to DO.

This was a very disappointing season.

Congrats JV- you tied 1-1.
** Tuesday vs Penn Wood 4:00 - Dismis: 2:00 Bus: 2:10
** Friday vs Hill School 3:45 - Dismiss: 2:30 Bus: 2:40
** Varsity will be at the track. JV will be at the far fields.

L 2-0. Overall record: 3-13. League: 2-11.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Game Summary - Pottstown

Varsity - No practice today - Wednesday.

We need 1 pac10 goal to tie our most pac10 goals (21-2005). Two for new record.
We need 3 goals to break our overall goals (32-2006).

Can you beat your overall wins from last year?
You now need to win 2 of the 3 to accomplish that feat.
You MUST win against Phoenixville to equal last year's league record.
Otherwise you will fall into the "2" win league record as they did in 2004. FYI - 2003=1, 2002=0.

Also in 2004 they allowed 112 goals, beat Pottstown twice and Glen Mills.
Lost to Phoenixville 7-3 and 6-3. Your first game this year against them was 8-1.
How are YOU going to play against Phoenixville?

Gray and Cocci are starting fowards tomorrow.
Budnick - attacking mid. Meszaros - sweeper.
Everyone else is up for grabs.

Penalty kick by Kane breaks the ice for 1-0 lead.
Perfect cross from Gray to Caffarello's head on far post for goal number 2.
Quigley racks up second shutout. (same team).

W 2-0. Game grade C - Overall record: 3-12. League: 2-10.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pottstown Game - Varsity ONLY

The time has changed to a night game.
Game time is 7:00.
Bus will leave at 5:15. Warm ups at 5:45.
Senior Night Agenda:
5:45 - Teams take field for warm ups.
6:15 - Teams clear field (call parents down to field)
6:20-6:35 Announce St. Pius Seniors. Have students and parents stay on field.
6:36-6:50 Announce Pottstown's seniors
6:51 - Announce starting line ups and National Anthem
7:00 Game time.

Game Summary - Pottsgrove

You will wear your AWAY (Blue) jersey for the rest of the season.
We will be collecting all HOME jerseys at practice on Wednesday for varsity. Maybe sooner for JV depending the results from the UP incident.

Observations from the bench:
Why did they beat us 7-0?

Here are the answers, you can call them "The Coaches' top 10":
1. They played as a team.
2. They talked to each other.
3. They listened and did as each were told.
4. They supported each other. They had minimum 2 on the attack and at least 1 defensively.
5. They stepped to each ball.
6. They knew what they were going to do when they got the ball. (Okay - but most of the time).
7. They crossed the ball.
8. They wanted to win. They work at winning.
9. We held the ball when on the attack.
10. We shot the ball directly at the keeper if it did not go over.

We have only been shutout 3 games of the 14 so far.
We need 3 pac10 goals to tie our most pac10 goals (21-2005).
We need 5 goals to break our overall goals (32-2006).
6 consecutive games that were scored. Last was 2 - multiple years.

Something to Contemplate:
There are 4 games left, two are league games.
My question to you:
Can you TIE last year's record?
At this point you cannot beat your league record from last year.
Can you beat your overall wins from last year?
You need to win 3 of the 4 to do that.
You MUST win BOTH games this week to equal last year's league record. Otherwise you will fall into the "2" win league record as they did in 2004. FYI - 2003=1, 2002=0.

L 7-0. Game grade D - Overall record: 2-12. League: 1-10.

Friday, October 3, 2008

JV Problem

Real good impression.
It seems that some JV players were making a spectacle of themselves during the varsity game against Upper Perk.
It seems that these nice catholic school boys were cursing up a storm, running around chasing each other and trying to hit each other with the ball.
Real good impression.
All the while shouting "F" bombs, references to the gay community and other organs
You get the picture.
Real good impression especially when Pottsgrove soccer teams were coming out to begin their practices. You know - young kids, 7, 8, 9 and 10 year olds that just might look up to you seeing you in uniform and playing a sport they are trying to learn.
Real good impression when at least one parent confronts them and asks them to stop.
What do they do?
One or two make apologies BUT there are others standing in the background laughing, snickering and making rude and crude remarks.
Real good impression for the school, the soccer team and your coaches.
What kind of jerk do you and all of St. Pius now look like?
So here is the deal:
The players involved with this will turn yourself in to Principal Hoban before noon on Monday or the whole JV team gets shutdown for the rest of the season.
The exceptions will be the ball boys (Perry, McKeon, Grajewski, O'Conner and Syrylo)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Game Summary - Upper Perk

What can I say?
I can say that we played pretty good because of the conditions.
I can say the we pressured more than 90% of the time.
I can say that we won 95% of all balls.
I can say we controlled the game.
I can say I was happy with the way we played.
We out shot them. Problem was that we shot at the keeper.
What killed us was 2 big mistakes that should not have happened.
Very good effort for all of you that played yesterday. I was proud of your play especially due to the conditions.
L 1-2. Game grade A- Overall record: 2-11. pac10: 1-9.

They were actually making good passes to each other instead of the other team.
They are starting to show some progress.

Rest of the season - game changes

Due to the poor condition of Gerald Richards Park field that we play our home games on, the rest of our home games will be away.
Friday vs Pottsgrove 3:30 start, dismis: 2:00 Bus:2:10
09 OCT Phoenixville (at the Vo Tech center) 4:00 start, dismis: 2:10 Bus 2:20