Casey Black has accomplished much, but what he’s done for the area’s soccer players is on a whole new level.
The Rockdale Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy, owner and manager of Black Ink Incorporated, former Rockdale Youth Soccer Association Director, former Heritage High School soccer coach and current Covington Y Galaxy coach has led what he estimates is more than 100 teams from all levels of the game.
Black is also a national level collegiate referee, causing him to run into a number of his ex-high school and rec-league players while wearing stripes instead of carrying a coach’s clipboard and getting the same reaction.
“They just see me when I’m out there and know I’m a very stern coach and that I’m a fair coach, and also a fair referee,” Black said. “It’s funny that I still get a little bickering back from them.”
No matter how much Black’s players bicker, he still has more to teach them, something a few Galaxy players knew when they asked him to come to the Covington Y to coach about a year and a half ago.
He currently leads the 11 and under and 12 and under girls’ teams, helping them prepare for high school and college soccer.
“He puts so much time and effort into thinking about practice and the effort of having parent conversations, meetings, evaluation and individual coaching sessions all as a volunteer,” Galaxy director of coaching Austin Aldridge said.
Black himself was a player at Rockdale High, learning both the game and the way he would hold himself as a coach from Steve Speeler, currently a physical therapist at Newton Medical Center. While playing goalkeeper, Black would help coach youth leagues at the age of 14, before taking an assistant coaching job at Heritage High School after playing at Anderson University.
At Heritage, he helped the Patriots reach four state championships, winning one. After 15 years at Heritage, Black went on to work at the Rockdale Youth Soccer Association, serving as vice president for two years before taking over as president from 2008-2010.
“It’s just a love for the game that once you played for a while, you get to really know the game and want to expand on it and take the kids coming up to the next level,” Black said. “It’s a challenge to see how much you can take and develop the kids and see how far they can take it. It’s a challenge to see them develop and mature with some guidance.”
Some of those players he guided were his own children, working with his son while at RYSA, his oldest daughter with the U-12 Galaxy team and his youngest daughter at the Covington Y Academy league.
After coaching all levels of youth soccer, Black said he is especially enjoying teaching the younger kids.
“The younger kids are a lot more challenging,” Black said. “You have to begin with the basics and get the fundamentals across to the kids.”
Soccer remains a big part of Black’s life, continuing to give out his knowledge all with the support of his wife Denise.
“It’s amazing how much she’s tolerated with me coaching,” Black said. “Since I was coaching high school in 1996, she’s been by my side.”
And, as long as Black wants to keep guiding young soccer players, the Covington Y Galaxy will be glad to have such a formidable figure leading the way.
“I really believe that Casey Black has changed the face of soccer, not only in Newton County, and not only in Rockdale County, but has changed the face of soccer in all of Georgia,” Aldridge said. “He has positively impacted a community of soccer players for generations to come.”