Coach Stacey Hughes has just started her first year of becoming the new head soccer coach for the girls junior varsity soccer team. Hughes graduated from Virginia State University in December 2016; she graduated as a kindergarten through twelfth grade
health and physical education teacher.
Before going back to college, Hughes helped out with the soccer team. She eventually started coaching on her own. Hughes started her coaching career by coaching for eighth, ninth, and tenth graders.
“It is a blast being in the field whether my position is a coach or a player. I want to help my girls grow in the sport and persuade them to love the sport as much as I did,” Hughes said.
But as with any job, there is a mixture of enjoyment and the pressures of responsibility.
“Being a coach is both fun and challenging. Our team has such a positive attitude that makes me look forward to going to practice each day. At the same time, there is so much more To coaching than I ever thought of as a player. Just like any job, you have to balance many different things,” Hughes said.
Soccer is the only sport that Hughes has coached so far. Hughes said she was not opposed to coaching other sports, soccer was just the first of many opportunities she has had thus far.
“Soccer is certainly one of my favorite sports, but I’ve also always wanted to coach this sport. I have so much fun with this team,” Hughes said. “They are a joy to be around everyday and I feel that we will have an incredible season.”
Coach Hughes also plays other sports besides soccer, like field hockey and volleyball. Not only does Hughes play regular sports, but she also plays more extreme sports like bowfishing, skydiving, wakeboarding,
and snow skiing. Soccer has just been the sport she’s played the longest, and therefore the one she knows the most about.
“I love being back on the soccer field with a fun, and talented group of girls. It amazes me how I watched them grow in skill from the first day of practice to the end,” Hughes said.
Hughes’s players feel the same way about her.
“Our new coach is nice, she’s a great coach, really athletic, and a great person,” sophomore Kelsey Watts said. “Coach Hughes coaches us with fitness in mind, she is also fun and likes to joke around. One of my favorite things she makes us do at practice is scrimmages.”
Sophomore Hannah Seymour also had praise for the new coach.
“Our new coach is really nice, I like her and I think she will benefit the team in a good way. I like Coach Hughes because
she’s energetic. Our coach isn’t strict but if we do something wrong the only thing she’ll make us do is run.”
Coach Hughes has a great bond with her players. “I feel that we have a great bond. It’s early in the season so I’m still learning about them, but we have mutual respect for each other, we still practice hard, and still have a great time,” Hughes said.
Coach Hughes even has a good bond with girls varsity soccer coach Sara Owens. Coach Owens and Hughes have known each other for a good amount of time. Hughes was one of the assistant coaches on a team Owens used to coach. Hughes also used to be one of Owens’s players.
“Knowing someone as a student and as a co-worker is always a good thing,” Owens said.
Coach Hughes seems to have a positive impact on her students, co-workers, and people around her. She is well-liked and a well-known person, and even though it is her first year coaching, her players seem to have adapted to the adjustment pretty fast. Her players like the way she coaches and the kind of person she is.