Talk about a way to stand out on a resume for a coaching job.
At Eastside that may be exactly what happened, and the Eagles are hoping there’s credence in the name of their new boys’ soccer coach.
Champ Young is in his first year leading Eastside after a year at the YMCA and a gig at North Georgia College before that. Young is stepping into a club that was 12-4 overall and 6-2 in Region 4-AAA a year ago.
As 2012 gets started Young is working through injuries, getting his players acclimated to his system and style. He lost one starter in training and another to a sprained ankle in the season opening 4-3 loss to Loganville on Feb. 10.
The biggest blow to Young’s regular lineup came over the summer when starting goalkeeper Will Daniel tore an ACL.
“We had three out now that started last year that probably would have played 95 percent of minutes we had this year,” Young said. “With the injuries this year I had to take my foot off the pedal a little bit.”
Among the players he had to slow down and work more one-on-one with is sophomore goalkeeper Andres Sarmiento. Sarmiento steps into the starting role in good shape physically but needing work on the leadership aspects of the position.
“He’s a real great player,” Young said. “He comes off the line well, and is a great shot blocker. We’re really working with him as far as communication from the back telling the defense what to do. He’s getting much better with it though.”
Sarmiento is just one of several youngsters being worked into the Eastside lineup, many in key positions. There are five freshmen and sophomores who have been integrated into the Eagles’ rotation.
Another key newcomer is freshman Jake Shelton at outside back.
“He’s starting as freshman,” Young said. “He’s got a pretty bright future for us.”
Shelton will join veteran center back Aubrey James on defense. James is one of three veterans in the middle of the field for the Eagles with Zack Pirtle in the midfield and Trent Taylor up top.
Taylor, who had 18 goals in 2011, will team with Jacob Alwes up top for much of Eastside goal opportunities.
“With the speed (Alwes) has we’re going to try to get him in front of the goal as much as we can.”
Eastside will initially come out with a 3-4-3 formation, and switched to a 4-4-2 or even a 3-5-2 depending on the opponent.
The Eagles will be able to shift attacking styles, thanks in part to the offseason training that Young has implemented from his days coaching in college. The former North Georgia College coach has maintained his style, saying the players aren’t that dissimilar.
“The players that I have here, especially the older ones get it,” Young said. “I treat them like college kids anyway, especially the older kids. I treat it as a college program.”
That is helping to lead to a style of play where the ball is constantly moving.
“I know that we’ll come out and if we play like we’re supposed to we’ll knock the ball around a little bit,” Young said. “Most teams I’ve seen so far just want to play ball. We’ll try to move the ball around, and continue to have plays develop rather than just try to play long and score the easy way. We’ll keep the ball a little more.”