NEW BOSTON – The New Boston junior high soccer program isn’t technically affiliated with the New Boston Local School district, but head coach Anthony Maynard and assistant coach Eddie Sowards are treating it like it is.
“When I say non-school affiliated, we have permission to wear the Glenwood Tigers uniform and logo, but the schools haven’t adopted the program, yet,” Maynard said. “We have had to do a lot of the fundraising for this on our own. Any of the fundraising we’ve done has gone straight to the kids and anything this program might need: goals, balls, jerseys, anything else we might need.”
This fall’s season is the second official year New Boston’s junior high has a team since Maynard and his staff revived the non-school affiliated program, and the interest ahead of this season is higher than a year ago. According to Maynard, a strong reason for that is how successful the United States Women’s National Team was in this year’s Women’s World Cup.
“We’ve got 17 kids playing, we had 16 last year, but our kids were more excited this year because I think of the Women’s World Cup, and our two MLS teams in the state of Ohio,” Maynard said. “Both of those things helped the level of interest in soccer here in Scioto County. There’s an interest, and I think that interest is going to keep increasing as time goes on.”
Maybe most importantly for Maynard and his staff, as well as the New Boston varsity soccer program, is that the existence of this program helps give those on their team actual soccer experience as part of a Glenwood Tigers team rather than a club team or local travel team.
Having that identity of ‘Tiger Pride’ is something Maynard and his staff are constantly relaying to their team, game in and game out.
“I’m a big proponent of ‘Tiger Pride’,” Maynard said. “I came back last year to be a teacher here, and one of the very first things we talked about was ‘Tiger Pride’. When you put on that Glenwood Tiger jersey, there’s a sense of pride that comes with that, and I think our kids are start to develop that as we continue to play.”
And with that experience of playing in a Glenwood jersey also comes the actual experience of playing organized soccer. In years past, a majority of New Boston players were playing their first organized soccer when they reached the high school ranks.
With Maynard and company at the helm of developing their youth program, their ability to become a feeder system to the high school program will pay dividends to their current high school coaching staff.
“We sent three kids who were eighth graders last year to our varsity program this year,” Maynard said. “Talked to Coach [Greg] Mauk about those kids and he said he could tell a difference in how they had been taught the game in just one season. We want to win every game, but at the junior high level, it’s really about getting them prepared for that varsity level of soccer they’ll one day see.”
As Maynard and his coaches continue their development of their players and the New Boston junior high soccer program, he’s hoping that by season’s end, his five eighth graders who he’ll be sending to the high school team next year will be able to make an immediate impact.
“We’re trying to put our high school program back on the map, and doing this helps that,” Maynard says. “Hopefully we’ll be able to send our five eighth graders up and they’ll be a big help to Coach Mauk and our varsity program.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved