New fall sport coaches


Rachael Hopkins

Seniors Kyle Moose and Travis Hodge warmup at practice on August 25,2015.

Rachael Hopkins, Staff Reporter

This year the De Soto High School athletic program is welcoming new coaches for volleyball, cross country and boys’ soccer.

Although all of them had been assistant coaches in the past, they will all face new challenges as head coach.

While the players are still upset over the loss of their former coaches, they are looking forward to what the future holds with the teams under new management.

“I was kind of sad at first having McAfee leave, but it’s been an interesting experience so far, [and] it’s working out well,” junior cross country runner Ryan Wollum said.

New head cross country coach Katie Simecka had assistant coached for four years and is on her first year of head coaching.

Simecka feels the pressure of being in charge as she steps into the big shoes once filled by Chris McAfee.

“The biggest change is how much more I am in charge of. Writing the workouts has probably been my biggest challenge. Just making sure that everyone is getting the individual workout that they need so they can do their best,” Simecka said.

The volleyball team also gained a new head coach Boris Quintero. Quintero has a history of assistant coaching at DHS with the varsity volleyball team as well as coaching a club team outside of school.

“I think it’s a very smooth transition because I have been a head coach before. Either way my job from assistant to head coach is pretty much going to be the same,” Quintero said.

The volleyball, cross country and soccer teams have always had very high standards that they have held themselves to, and for many players, new coaches did not mean new goals.

“Win sub-state again, I think that’s a good thing to keep going. [A goal]as a team over the course of the season would be to have good chemistry, and that will make winning sub-state easier for us,”  junior volleyball player Jackie Kennard said.

Many players, like senior Molli Shriver, are excited to be welcoming a new coach along with a diverse team of players from all grade levels.

“We’re excited [to have a new coach] and just get to know everyone. The new players are different, and his coaching style is different, too,” Shriver said.

New head coach for boys’ soccer, Jesse Smith started coaching in 2009 at DHS with the girls’ soccer team. He had previously been assistant coach to the boys’ varsity team until making the switch this year to head coach.

“[Transitioning from girls to boys’ soccer is]not a whole lot different, I think the biggest difference is the personalities.  I’m still learning being the head coach of the guys team so it’s kind of hard to say one way or the other at the moment,” Smith said.

Players and coaches agreed that already knowing each other helps to make the transitions easier.

“Our new coach happened to be our assistant coach last year so we still have a connection with him,” senior soccer player Giovanni Zaragoza said.

Coaches, along with players, are aiming to fulfill the job that has previously been held by past players and coaches . In the end everyone has the same goal, to make it to state and bring home some hardware.