Congrats to our girls! Two State Championship Teams

While I have mentioned in past my love of coaching basketball and soccer – I didn’t have a chance to post about the great weekend that we had on the soccer field this past May.  Since I just came across the photos below on my desk – it seemed like time to go back and write the blog post I should have written back then.  Coaching youth teams is one of the primary ways I relax and get some exercise…. and it’s a great way to complement the hard work of being in the high-tech industry every day.

For the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of helping to coach the U14G CASL Cyclones.   The team is a mid-level travel team – and typically plays in 4-6 tournaments a year at both the challenge and classic/premier levels.   My oldest daughter is one of the original team members since it was formed when she was 9, and we have some of the deepest friendships with the other families that have been a part of the team for those 5+ years and 10+ seasons.   Over the years, many of the girls who could have elected to move up to the premier teams have stayed on the team because of their strong friendships.

Similarly – my youngest daughter Megan just began playing at this level three seasons ago and I am also helping to coach her team.  Our goal is to create a strong family environment just like we have done with Sarah’s team – all the while ensuring the girls play at the mid-to-top levels of competitive youth soccer and have lots of fun doing so.

When one is helping to coach two teams, the hardest part is usually scheduling.  So this past Spring both teams I was both thrilled and quite logistically challenged when both teams were invited to play in the North Carolina State Championship Tourney – they NCYSA Singer Challenge Cup.  Managing to work out tournament scheduling for 8 games in 2 days – and having the energy to coach them would be tough!

As you can see from the photos – both teams won the State Championship!  The best part though was seeing each team play their very best soccer of the year.  As a coach you always hope that your teams give their very best performance at the right moment – and that’s exactly what happened with both the CASL Dragonflies, and the CASL Cyclones.  Both teams played their best soccer, and both had to defeat their arch-rivals who also played their best soccer as well during the weekend.  Throughout the weekend — all the coaches and teams demonstrated some of the best sportmanship I’ve seen over the year – which is sometimes not the case when the State Championship in on the line.

It was quite a weekend – and quite a way to celebrate Fathers Day 2013 with my own two girls, and their teams (my 25 girls!).

Way to go girls!

U10Girls CASL Dragonflies NC State Champs

U10Girls CASL Dragonflies NC State Champs.  Head Coach Sam Guemple is back left.

U14 Girls CASL Cyclones State Champs

U14 Girls CASL Cyclones State Champs.  Head Coach is Ed Kelly in back center, and assistant Preston Sutton is back left.

Megan (L) and Sarah (R) Riegel with their Dad & Coach on Fathers Day 2013.
Megan (L) and Sarah (R) Riegel with their Dad & Coach on Fathers Day 2013.

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