MARYSVILLE — Ten years removed from coaching at the high school level, Marysville Getchell English and Social Studies teacher Kyle Suits took the reigns this year as head coach of the girls soccer team.
The Chargers are currently undefeated winning their fifth game Sept. 20 against Everett 1-0. It’s the longest-such winning streak in the school’s five-year history.
Suits became the new coach when the position was vacated by Wayne Nash.
“Sometimes, the coach just loses the team, you just need a new voice,” Suits said.
When the opportunity presented itself, he hopped on, even though he knew nothing about the team or its players.
“I intentionally walk in with the lack of knowledge,” he said. “I don’t want the advantage of knowing players.”
And because the players have a clean slate to him, he doesn’t assign captains, but rather rotates leadership roles.
It was kind of a “perfect storm to walk into,” he said.
After going to the playoffs in 2013, the Chargers struggled their last two seasons. The team did have some high-caliber players, however, including junior Oshinaye Taylor, who leads the team in scoring with five goals, and senior Lindsey Weikel. They both played semi-pro soccer for Fureza FC last summer.
But even with some star players, coaching is ultimately what makes a team, Suits said.
“You can play at a high level and not get anything out of it,” he said.
Suits compared it to the Seahawks and all their undrafted players. They excel because someone shows them a different way to do things.
More than anything he sought to adjust the team’s culture down to how the players treat each other and even opposing players.
Largely a self-taught coach who has spent many years coaching in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School system in the past, Suits said he sees nothing unique about his coaching style, admitting it’s trial and error.
“People make things too hard,” he said. “Soccer isn’t too complicated.”
The team uses a dynamic attack plan – one that is broken down into steps and practiced to the point of it being spontaneous. Basically that allows the girls to adjust on the fly given the circumstances of the game.
“If I teach in a form of a question, they will have to formulate an answer,” Suits said. “How would it be different if…?”
So far, it’s working. Under Suits’ leadership, the Chargers have scored 10 points, but have given up only two, which Suits credits to the team’s strong defense. “Now, I don’t hardly own anything,” he said. “They own the team. I just point things out.”
Taylor, as the lead offensive player, said she appreciates the new coaching strategy.
“There’s a lot more structure — we always have a game plan and backup plan for everything,” she said. “It gives us a goal to reach, and we figure out a way to reach that goal. “
Suits added, “If she’s the lead dog, everyone else will follow.”
Senior goal keeper, Marina Wika also likes the new atmosphere.
“He didn’t choose any captains this year,” Wika said. “We all play for each other, and we’re all very selfless.”
Like any team, it’s not surprising that MG would want to make the playoffs, but Suits admittedly has not looked that far ahead.
“We just try to play one or two chunks at a time,” Suits said.
He said practice is where he does his coaching.
“If I’m yelling at them in a game, I didn’t do my job in practice,” Suits said. “In my opinion all 11 players on the field have the same vision and mental picture.”