Assistant Coach: Mr. Reed Tallman
HS Boys Soccer Schedule Change: Due to weather related schedule changes, the High School Boys Soccer team will be playing at Civitan Park, at 6:30 p.m., on Tuesday, April 28th. This is a BIG game for us and we need our fans! Please come out and cheer on our Kicking Bucs!!!!
April 2nd, 2015 10:33 pm by Ivan Sanders, Press Correspondent
Losing sometimes is a bitter pill to swallow, but there's nothing like getting a measure of revenge against your arch rival.
University High (3-0, 2-0) managed to finally get a bad taste out of their mouth as the Bucs completely dominated Sullivan South in boys soccer with a 4-0 victory at Summers-Taylor Stadium Thursday evening.
The Rebels defeated U-H last season to win the conference.
"I am really proud of the guys," Buc head coach Dan Almond said. "South pursued the ball well. To get better you have to play the better teams, and I respect South a lot."
With just over six minutes off the opening-half clock, Lowell Williams punched a score into the South goal on a through ball for the 1-0 U-H advantage.
The Bucs tacked on a second score with ten minutes left before halftime to take get some breathing room at the break leading 2-0.
Noah McGill recorded the goal with the ball coming off a deflection.
"Having the 2-0 lead allowed us to change and adjust things," added Almond. "I am proud of the guys for executing our game plan for this game."
South needed to respond quickly to have an opportunity to get back into the contest, but it was the constant, physical play of the Bucs that continued to dominate into the second half played under a steady light rain.
Williams blasted his second goal of the game with only 3:25 off the clock to start the half to making it 3-0 in favor of U-H.
"We are rivals obviously, and they took the championship from us last year," Williams said. "We wanted to come out and win this. My teammates created all the opportunities.
"This gives us a lot of momentum going forward and as we prepare for Elizabethton who is our next tough opponent."
Coach Almond liberally utilized his bench which kept the legs fresh and allowed his team to continue forcing the issue with numerous shots on goal.
McGill closed out the scoring from just outside the penalty box that scooted through the rain-soaked gloves of the South keeper in extra time for the final 4-0 margin.
"We were expecting a tough game, and we came in determined," stated McGill. "We utilized a lot of our potential and kept playing the whole game."
© 2015 Johnson City Press
March 13th, 2015 9:27 pm by Jeff Birchfield
University High has turned to a doctor of therapy to get its boys' soccer program on good footing.
Dr. Dan Almond, who holds the all-time record for assists and points at Emory & Henry College, brings a wealth of coaching experience to the Bucs.
He served as junior varsity coach at Science Hill from 2008-10 where his teams compiled a 37-1 record. He mostly recently served as head coach for the FC-Dallas Tri-Soccer Club team where his boys U13 team had a 45-15-7 overall record which included the 2014 state championship for their age group.
Still, he's facing some of the same challenges as any new coach taking over a program.
"Learning 23 to 26 new players is always tough," Almond said. "I'm really blessed being a new coach that we have seven seniors. But, we're going through how they've played in the past and teaching them the style that I like to play. I've really enjoy the challenge, but obviously starting from scratch is tough."
Almond's day job is a doctor of physical therapy for the Holston Medical Group. While it makes it a little more challenging with his schedule than with a faculty coach, University High has been willing to work with him, feeling they have the best man for the job.
"We're very excited about Dan," University High athletic director Dustin Honeycutt said. "He has a supreme track record of success everywhere he's been. To have someone of his caliber, someone with a nationally-ranked FC Dallas team, it was pretty clear-cut for us. With Dan's leadership, I think we're going to have a pretty successful team this year and beyond that."
The Bucs look to improve on last season's 3-8 campaign and good production is counted on by senior forward Lowell Williams. Other seniors in the starting line up are center backs Noah Jones and Logan Webb and right wing Silas Venturella.
Almond, with his background as a standout offensive player, is trying to instill more of an attacking philosophy, although he has a defensive-minded assistant Reed Tallman who helps keep things in check.
"We balance each other out very well," Almond said. "There are certain things I see offensively that I think we can improve on and he sees things on the defensive end. I'm happy to pass on that mentorship to those players."
Almond, who led Virginia High to the 1997 state championship game when he was in high school, has continued to stay active as a player with several clubs like Bristol Alpha and Johnson City Divided in both indoor and outdoor tournnaments.
It gives him a good perspective of the challenges his own players face.
From the junior class, Preston Ongtengco will be a starter at right back and Tani Houston and Brady Sant are center midfielders.
Sophomore Brayden White is the left wing and Luke Wexler is the starting goalkeeper, although his athleticism could lead to playing some other spots on occasion. Freshman defender Cooper Pack fills out the starting roster.
It is Almond's hope that the team can develop some of the continuity and communication seen with the Knoxville-area teams.
"You find they have good players that play for a long time together," Almond said. "Spacing and movement off the ball are much easier when you play with the same guys for a long time. I'm finding that at University High, some guys have played together and some haven't."
Almond is also wanting the team to adhere to his motto of FAITH, which stands for fortitude, attitude, integrity trust and humility. It's three-fold in its approach, first as one of high integrity, second a strong student in the classroom and third a strong soccer player on the filed.
University High opens the season next Monday by hosting KACHEA. One week later, they will go on the road a week later to take on the new program at Happy Valley.
© 2015 Johnson City Press
HS Boys Soccer Schedule Change: Due to weather related schedule changes, the
High School Boys Soccer team
will be playing at Civitan Park, at 6:30 p.m., on Tuesday, April 28th. This is a BIG game for us and we need our fans! Please come out and cheer on our Kicking Bucs!!!!