By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
With less than a month before the start of school, Portales High School is no closer to finding a coach for the restarting of the Ram soccer team, but Portales Schools Superintendent Randy Fowler promises that the sport will be restarted this fall.
“We’re going to have (boys) soccer,” Fowler said. “The board is committed to it and it’s our job to find somebody that can do it.”
“We still have it open and we’re still seeing what’s available,” PHS principal Melvin Nusser said.
Portales hired a former high school soccer coach in early June, Daniel Garcia, but Garcia resigned later in the month.
“We feel like we’ll be able to fill the coaching position,” Fowler said. “We’re disappointed that we’re still having to look because we felt like we had taken care of that, but that’s just the way it goes. That happens, it’s just part of the business that we’re in. It just happens and you have to work around it.”
“Anytime you’re in this time of year and you’re still looking for teachers it makes you real nervous,” Nusser said. “But I think it will work out.”
Part of the problem, according to Fowler, is finding a coach who is also certified to teach.
“This is what we knew could happen from the very beginning. We don’t have a lot of soccer coaches that are certified teachers, not just in this area but throughout the state,” Fowler said. “We have some applicants but some of them that have applied are not certified to teach. But we’ll work out something.”
Earlier this summer, Portales resident Traci Sievers was hired to restart the girls program.
“We want to make sure that we get a quality person like we did with the girls program and Traci (Sievers),” Fowler said. “If we could have done that, I think we would have been off to a good start.”
Nusser also believes that the Portales school system has enough talented people to coach if the need arises.
“If all else fails we would have quality people within our system that we’ll go after if we have to,” Nusser said. “I’m not worried about the quality of coaching we’re going to get. We’ll get good quality or we’re not going to put them in that position.”
School starts in Portales on Aug. 14 and fall sports teams can begin practice Aug. 13.
Sievers was hired earlier this summer to coach the girls team. She has been coaching youth soccer and basketball in the Portales area for the past five years.