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Math teacher and soccer coach extraordinaire wins Mideast Sectional Award

The+2017-18+Girls+Varsity+Soccer+Team+team+picture.+Coach+Parker+is+shown+all+the+way+on+the+far+right+with+the+white+t-shirt+on.+
The 2017-18 Girls Varsity Soccer Team team picture. Coach Parker is shown all the way on the far right with the white t-shirt on.

The 2017-18 Girls Varsity Soccer Team team picture. Coach Parker is shown all the way on the far right with the white t-shirt on.

The 2017-18 Girls Varsity Soccer Team team picture. Coach Parker is shown all the way on the far right with the white t-shirt on.

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Recently, our Girls Varsity Soccer coach, Mike Parker, won an outstanding 2017-18 NFHS Mideast Sectional Coach of the Year Award for his amazing coaching skills and really standing out above all the other coaches in the Mideast Section.

The NFHS Coaches Association advisory panel considers the sectional candidates in each sport and ranks them according to a point system. They then determine a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, according to the official NFHS website. A total of 667 coaches were recognized for the 2016-17 state, sectional, and national awards. The Mideast Section includes the states: Delaware, Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Since 1982, the NFHS (National Federation of High School) has been recognizing coaches in different sections throughout the United States by giving awards to outstanding coaches. This year, our very own Coach Mike Parker for the Girls Varsity Soccer Team won the award. When asked if he was surprised about winning the award he said, “Very. I was honored and surprised, I had no idea. It was pretty exciting.”

It’s more about life skills with working within a group to achieve a common goal”

— Coach Parker

When he was then asked what made him personally stand out above all of the other coaches in the NFHS Mideast Section he answered with, “Honestly, I don’t think anything. I learn quite a bit from my other coach friends. You get to learn a lot from the other coaches, so this isn’t exactly an award that I won. The girls did all of the work, I was just lucky enough to coach for them.” Delaney Sommers, one of Coach Parker’s players said, “He always comes ready to push us to our maximum ability.” The way that Coach Parker trains his girls is “[they] do a lot of conditioning, and then usually the day before [they’ll]have a game plan set up. We start conditioning in the summer to get physically prepared. Most training sessions are about the tactical side of soccer.” After coaching soccer for 22 years, it’s no surprise that he won this prestigious award. Coach Parker says that his greatest influence on becoming a soccer coach was the fact that his dad coached him when he was younger, but as he got older in high school his dad became the soccer coach for the rival school’s team, which he really liked. He liked the challenge of competing against his dad.

Since Coach Parker is also a math teacher, he says that he includes math skills in with his soccer training. He stated, “In soccer we are working with a lot of different angles, so as I’m demonstrating where their positions should be, we talk a lot about angles. If we have to run for warm-ups I’ll make up something crazy like using all of the prime numbers to complete training.”

My philosophy is team aspect above all else”

— Coach Parker

The way that the NFHS is set up is, the NFHS will contact each individual state who is responsible for selecting a coach that deserves winning the award. He or she will then contact the potential state award winning coach and asks the coach to complete a coach profile form that requests information regarding the coach’s record, membership in and affiliation with coaching and other professional organizations, the involvement with other schools and community activities that they have, and their coaching philosophy. Coach Parker’s philosophy is that, “[Soccer] is a team sport and that it is not all about one individual.” He also says that he, “tries to look past the game part of soccer and tries to focus on teaching life skills. Working with people, working as a group, we all have to get along, because whatever business you’re in, you’re gonna have to work with people that aren’t your best friends, but you’re all gonna have to achieve the same common goal in the end.”

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Math teacher and soccer coach extraordinaire wins Mideast Sectional Award