Q&A: Head coach Olosaa Solovi discusses the choice to play one of many high three groups within the nation and what he hopes his gamers be taught from it.
The West Excessive Faculty soccer group gained its first recreation of the 2022 season, a 20-0 win over Clearfield that represented an excellent begin towards the aim of a deep-enough run within the 6A match to plat at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The second recreation on the schedule for the Panthers, although, is a street affair towards Mater Dei of California — a group ranked No. 1 in Excessive Faculty Soccer America’s preseason high 100 and No. 2 within the nation by MaxPreps.
In your finest Brian Windhorst voice, you is perhaps asking, Why would the Panthers do this?
West coach Olosaa Solovi breaks down the daunting matchup and what he’s favored about his group to this point this season.
What’s it that made you suppose, “We must always schedule presumably the most effective highschool soccer group within the nation”?
We wished to take that subsequent step in our program and begin to be a perennial energy in our state and to win a state championship. For us, we weren’t essentially aiming to play the No. 1 group within the nation. We wished to play some good applications that may assist us put together to play the highest applications in our state.
Methods to watch
West at Mater Dei (Calif.)
When: Aug. 19, 7 p.m.
The place: Mater Dei Excessive Faculty, Santa Ana, Calif.
How did the the sport with Mater Dei come about?
We’d been in talks for a few 12 months. We had been reaching out to some colleges that had been possibly . And clearly, we’re not a faculty that’s on the market nationally. So quite a lot of colleges had been type of turning us down. However Mater Dei was in a state of affairs the place not quite a lot of colleges wished to play them. We obtained a cellphone name from their representatives asking us that we’ve been inquiring out nationally for a faculty to play. After they referred to as, I used to be type of like, ‘I don’t know if we’re essentially for that.’ However I simply type of took a seat down and was like, hey, you already know what, if we’re actually eager to be a constant, profitable program 12 months in 12 months out, when this chance got here I simply couldn’t go it up.
How have your group and the teaching employees been making ready for this problem?
Mentally, you may’t actually put together for a group like this as a result of talent-wise, you’re not going to match up. I feel for us, we’re simply making an attempt to mentally simply concentrate on us. We’ve type of been actual trustworthy with these guys [and said], ‘Hey, we’re not going to match up talent-wise with these guys, however we’re not making an attempt to.’ We’re simply making an attempt to play clear, play free, play with some coronary heart and simply concentrate on us getting higher.
What else do you wish to see out of this recreation?
I don’t suppose, as a coach, you ever go into any recreation believing you’re simply going to lose and have an ethical win. I feel extra of the standpoint I’ve taken is the fact is it is a gifted group that children are coming in nationally to play for them. We perceive the scope and the problem. Now we have quite a lot of respect for this program. We’re additionally not afraid. I’m not afraid of an consequence. I’m afraid of not making ready my children to play with their heads up excessive and going after it. However once more, I’m not going to sit down and act like we don’t know who we’re taking part in. We all know who we’re taking part in. Now we have quite a lot of respect, however we by no means go into any recreation believing we’re going to lose. We’re getting into to attempt to win and no matter occurs from there, occurs.
What do you hope your group takes away from this to make use of later this season?
We’re simply in search of guys that may play within the second. It’ll most likely be the most important crowd that quite a lot of these children have performed in entrance. It’s a house opener. However I feel we actually wish to come out of this factor clearly wholesome, like anyone else. However I feel we’re in search of gamers which can be like — the sport’s on the road, the second is a giant second and who’s going to rise to that event? So nonetheless quite a lot of query marks on the market, and we’re in search of these to see who’s not afraid of this second. We’re gaining to get to Rice-Eccles. That’s principally our mindset. And in an effort to get there, you may’t beat your self. And whenever you get there, you clearly can’t be afraid of the second, and that’s what we’re actually making ready for and looking for popping out of this recreation.
It’s solely been one week, one recreation. However what have you ever favored about your group to this point this season? What encourages you in regards to the trajectory of what the group could be this 12 months?
I feel we’ve good management. I feel I’ve had some nice leaders prior to now couple of years I’ve been right here. However I feel general, from high to backside, the management is healthier. Now we have much more leaders this 12 months than I’ve ever had.
This interview was edited for size and readability.