The White County girls’ soccer program heads into their second season under the tutelage of alumni Chelsea Gentry.
Initially, Gentry felt uncertain when she got the call from White County athletic director Terry Crain and principal Grant Swallows to take over the program.
“At first I was a little hesitant,” Gentry said. “I had never been on that side of the game. I had only played, but never coached. I thought, ‘why not give it a try?’ It may be something I can do. Not only coaching, but (I can) impact the girls and their lives.”
Gentry referenced her high school soccer coach Ken Craig as an inspiration to her as a teacher and a coach.
“He was such an amazing coach,” Gentry said. “He taught very well. He was good to everyone. He showed genuine kindness to every girl, and he didn’t care to make something make sense and to explain everything in detail.”
The Warriorettes lost four starting defensemen from last year’s team and will be replacing that experience on that side of the field. A lot of patience is something Gentry referenced as something valuable she learned in year one as head coach.
“Everyone learns differently. I’ve tried to take that into consideration when I’m teaching and coaching,” Gentry said. “That was one thing Coach Craig was really good at. He was able to tell some of us and show others.”
There will be a mixture of veteran players and new faces on the field this year when White County faces off at home against Stone Memorial on Monday, Aug.19.
Seniors Savannah Muse and Katie Randolph have taken over the leadership role for Gentry’s unit, while Freshman Addie Dye takes over the goal-tending responisbilites.
“(Muse) is rough, she likes to get out there and play and do whatever she needs to do. She’s been a great leader,” Gentry said. “(Randolph) comes out early and stays late. She really talks to the girls and helps them out. If we’re running a mile or running in general and there are a few left behind, she goes and finishes with them when she’s done.”
Gentry knows there will be some growing pains in replacing those four seniors, but she hopes the family mentality and some of the coaching styles and techniques she learned from Craig will help her mold this team into a formattable opponent this year on the field.