You might have seen them in the Counseling office helping with those unbelievably long college apps, or in the classroom teaching the classic Romeo and Juliet, but this winter, you can expect to see Counselor Sam Lane and English teacher Jason Mize on the field as they take on the role of head coach and assistant coach of Girls Frosh-Soph Soccer, respectively.
Lane and Mize have both had a passion for the sport since they were young, so when coaching positions for Northwood’s soccer opened up for the first time this year, they seized the opportunity.
“I coached a boys varsity soccer team for six years, and that coaching position actually led to my first teaching job. After that, I started to spending more time with my band at the time, and there just wasn’t enough time for everything so I gave up coaching,” Mize said. “The band got put on hiatus, and I always told myself that if the band stopped for whatever reason, I would look for opportunities to go back into coaching because I miss it.”
Lane joined the Northwood counseling team last year, and with mutual friends in the school district and numerous staff meetings, Lane and Mize began to cross paths more and more. After rock climbing together, they discovered a mutual love for soccer and an interest in coaching.
“There’s this dance to soccer. It appeals to me as a thinker, and it appeals to me as an athlete in terms of endurance; there’s so much strategy that’s involved with it,” Mize said. “There’s also an international piece as well; while traveling, soccer is the language I can speak with other cultures and something that I could always connect with people over.”
For this season, the goal is to have strong performance and hopefully a winning record.
“I just hope we have a winning record because Mize and I have been talking a lot of smack, especially to other Irvine schools, so I definitely want win those games there,” Lane said. “But I also know there’s a lot of pride with Northwood Girls Soccer, so I don’t want to let any of them down.”
But even more important, they hope to create a sense of camaraderie within the team and to develop a deeper understanding of teamwork and how it applies in this particular sport, said Mize.
“Every match has its own shape and requires something slightly different, so I want to get players being comfortable playing in their positions and with each other,” Mize said. “When we do lose, which is an inevitable part of the sport, I want us to lose well, and when we win, we win well.”