New coaches hired for JV and Varsity girls soccer teams, carrying high hopes for the upcoming season
As of this year, the JV and varsity girls soccer teams will be led by a brand new group of coaching staff, two of which are on-campus teachers. Each team will have a head coach and an assistant coach.
Chemistry teacher Jeff Panos and his coworker Andy Moore will be the head coach and assistant coach of the varsity team. Panos has known Moore for thirteen years now, and as stated by Moore, the two have already coached together at Serra High School for nine years. Moore also specializes in goalkeeping, a form of coaching the MVHS team has never had before.
The new JV head coach and assistant coach will be Wilson Tsai and PE teacher Julie Williams, however Williams will also be helping out with the varsity team occasionally. Outside of MVHS, Tsai and Williams are coworkers as well.
According to Williams, one of the coaching staff’s goals is to have the JV and varsity teams do combined team activities in order to create a bond between them.
“I love the team bonding experience, because I think when that is kind of gelled and going, it just transfers over on the field,” Williams explains.
Williams said she plans to have the JV team practice and play at a varsity level to prepare them beforehand if they ever have the opportunity to play for the varsity team during the season. She also aims to train the players into being flexible with different positions and understanding the different formations on the field.
For Tsai and Panos, working with the high school girl soccer players will be a new experience. So far, Tsai’s coaching experience includes coaching at soccer camps for youth and development camps. For Panos, with Serra being an all boys private school, the majority of his coaching career has been with high school boys.
According to Panos, the JV team is very fortunate to have Tsai as the new head coach.
“I will tell you it’s difficult to find coaches for lower level teams, meaning junior varsity or freshman-sophomore teams, that have the hours of 3 to 5 p.m. open to work,” Panos said. “Finding Wilson was a real treat because he’s got a soccer background, but more importantly, he’s actually a very young, energetic guy that the girls are really gonna like. And I think that this program needs young, energetic people.”
Tsai, born and raised in Mountain View, is very excited to come back to coach in his hometown. Even with fewer years of experience than the other coaches, Tsai says he is looking forward to being very open and receiving the coaches’ feedback and to see how he can develop himself into a better coach. He also looks forward to getting to know the players.
“I know there are a lot of big-time MVLA club players, so I’m just really excited to watch them grow throughout the season and not only make an impact through the season but also make an impact throughout their soccer career as they keep moving forward,” Tsai said.
This year will be Panos’ 22nd year of coaching soccer. He has coached at Cupertino High for 7 years, Serra High for 12, and is currently in his second year of teaching at MVHS. In previous years, Panos has seen a couple of the varsity players play in games.
“What attracted me to the job more than anything is that the talent level here is very high compared to the average high school,” Panos said.
Outside of school, the majority of the female soccer players have experience in playing competitive club soccer, with clubs such as for MVLA or RedStar, making the standard skill level of playing for the team very high. Varsity assistant coach Andy Moore agrees that the girls playing in Mountain View are “exceptionally skilled” and are “blessed with having a very good club program nearby”.
Moore explains that compared to about 30 years ago, such competitive soccer programs for women were harder to come by because the number of women and girls playing soccer at the time was very minimal.
“The caliber of soccer that’s being played right now at the women’s level and at the high school’s level is incredible and fantastic,” Moore said. “There wasn’t anything like there is now.”