Falcon boys soccer coaches may share duties next season

Fresh off one of the best boys soccer seasons in years, head coach Joel Gerlach is busy planning for next season.

Emerson “Skip” Robbins speaks with boys soccer head coach Joel Gerlach

Fresh off one of the best boys soccer seasons in years, head coach Joel Gerlach is busy planning for next season.

At the top of his list is how he’ll replace 90 percent of his starting lineup and the overwhelming majority of his scorers. One thing he can cross off is retention of his coaching staff, which will again include Emerson “Skip” Robbins. “Skip” will stay true to his nickname and be a co-head coach with Gerlach on the varsity team after two seasons leading the junior varsity squad to an insane 24-1 record.

There’s a dependent clause, however. He’ll only join Gerlach on varsity if they find a quality junior varsity coach to keep the feeder program thriving.

“We’d pretty much share duties equally,” Gerlach said.

“It’s hard when you’re one coach with 16 kids. All training skills aren’t universal.”

Their division of labor won’t necessarily fall between offense and defense. Robbins helped install the Falcons’ new defensive scheme, a flatback-four formation that allowed 34 goals this season. Gerlach shaped the Falcons’ offense into its down-the-sidelines style that relied on speedy forwards and quick touches to the tune of 43 goals.

Compared to Cascade Conference rivals, South Whidbey’s offense produced the third-most goals behind Archbishop Murphy’s 75 and Cedarcrest’s 56. Its defense, however, allowed the fourth most in the eight-team conference.

Shoring up the defense will be a priority, as will replacing the offensive firepower vacuum left by graduating seniors Stephen Lyons, Sam Turpin, Darby Hayes and Guy Sparkman. Defensively, the Falcons lose keeper Andrew Holt, Cameron Coupe, Connor McCauley and River Ellis.

Ideally, the Falcons’ junior varsity program is built to plug-and-play its younger athletes into the varsity lineup. The JV squad ran the same practices and drills as varsity, with a little variation for tweaking here and there. That had Gerlach and Robbins excited for the 2014 season.

“We have the opportunity to be as good or better (than the 2013 team),” Gerlach said.

 

More in Sports

South Whidbey grads find success at collegiate level / Alumni update

A handful of South Whidbey High School graduates are continuing their athletic… Continue reading

South Whidbey athletes receive letters, awards

South Whidbey High School wrapped up the 2018 spring sports season by… Continue reading

Cascade Conference honors South Whidbey players, coaches

Twenty-one South Whidbey High School spring athletes earned all-Cascade Conference first-team honors… Continue reading

Falcons comment on state experience / Tennis

Mental and physical growth helped South Whidbey junior Mary Zisette and sophomore… Continue reading

Falcons take early exit at state / Softball

The South Whidbey High School softball team dropped both its games at… Continue reading

Papritz, Zisette place 2nd in state doubles tournament / Tennis

South Whidbey High School’s Alison Papritz and Mary Zisette swatted their way… Continue reading

Nielsen paces SW at state with 4 medals / Track

South Whidbey’s Sophia Nielsen led the Falcons at the state 1A track… Continue reading

SW grads qualify for national tournament / Ultimate frisbee

Two South Whidbey High School graduates have tossed their way to the… Continue reading

Heggenes 3rd, Falcons 4th at state tournament / Girls golf

Kolby Heggenes placed third and South Whidbey High School fourth at the… Continue reading

South Whidbey finishes 9th at state / Boys golf

The South Whidbey High School boys golf team placed ninth at the… Continue reading

Falcons ranked among state leaders / Track

As the South Whidbey High School track team heads to the state… Continue reading

Rohde signs with St. Mary / Track

South Whidbey High School senior Romey Rohde recently signed a letter of… Continue reading