Perry wants fresh soccer startIn his first year as the Mitchell boys club soccer coach, Ryan Perry has requested one simple thing from his team.
By: Travis Mester, The Daily Republic
In his first year as the Mitchell boys club soccer coach, Ryan Perry has requested one simple thing from his team.
Forget about the lack of success the team has had over the past few seasons and start fresh.
“I know the team is excited,” said Perry, who finished his soccer playing career at Dakota Wesleyan University last fall. “I’ve tried to express to them that this is a new program, a new season. It’s a new team and I want them to come in and forget about whatever has happened in the past.”
Mitchell begins its season at 6 p.m. today when it hosts Lead-Deadwood at the new Pepsi Cola Soccer Complex.
Perry, a Dallas native majoring in sports management, has one semester remaining at DWU and will be coaching his first competitive team this fall with Mitchell’s club team, which is not affiliated with Mitchell High School. He hopes to use his degree to obtain a job with a Parks and Recreation department, but said he will continue coaching soccer wherever he ends up.
“I enjoy the sport so much,” said Perry, who also coached Mitchell during the five-week spring season. “It’s such a passion of mine that I wouldn’t be able to have nothing to do with it.”
This fall, Perry has 25 players on his roster. The team has been practicing three times a day for the past two weeks to prepare for today. Mitchell, which will be led by center midfielder C.J. Carlson, also will play at 8 p.m. Saturday against Freeman Academy at the Pepsi Cola Soccer Complex.
Carlson, a senior who Perry said has some of the best skills on the team, is a player Mitchell will look to play through this fall — especially early on.
“He’s one of the few guys that has played soccer year-round, and it’s worked for him,” Perry said of Carlson. “He’s the kind of guy that has the work ethic and he loves it.”
Offensively, Perry described senior forward Colton Skufca as ‘fast as lightning’ and expects him to bolster the attacking third.
Perry, who was the last defender back during his playing days, specializes in coaching the Mitchell defensemen and said he hopes that the back line of his team will be one of its strengths this season.
“I really feel like the guys are in shape; but with soccer, it’s a lot about the ideas of the game,” Perry said. “Learning strategy, positioning and making sure we’re in the right spot at the right time is something that I know we have to continue to improve on.”
And after a few weeks of practice, Mitchell is ready to continue improving against an actual opponent, rather than each other.
And they’re not the only ones.
“For a new coach, everything is going exactly the way you’d hope it to,” Perry said. “The guys have showed up ready to play and they’re ready to work. For a first-year coach, that’s a dream.
“This weekend will be the test to see where we are at.”