Boys’ soccer coach hailed as coach of the year
The head coach of the Truckee High School boy’s varsity soccer team, Rob Curtis, was named soccer coach of the year for the boys’ Northern 3A division this week.
After finishing the regular season 8-0 with two ties and winning the league championship, the Wolverines went 2-1 in zones to go into the State tournament ranked No. 3.
“The kids that were on his team that I knew were coming back from last year, from a talent stand point, I don’t think were quite as talented as teams he’s had before,” said the girls’ soccer head coach Kyle Adams. “But they really came together as a team and played really well. That’s a credit to what he (Curtis) was able to do with them.”
“For Rob to take the league like that, I don’t think anyone would have anticipated that. They usually give the award to coaches that win the league, or do great things with their team, and Rob did both of those things this year,” Adams added.
For the team, there are a number of reasons why the players think Curtis deserved the award.
“You can always understand what he’s talking about, he’s very straight-forward with his speeches,” said senior captain Timmy McDonald. “He always goes over the game the day before and it helps us to know what were going to do.”
Another senior, Forrest Platt, said Curtis is, “Always positive. He doesn’t get down on us when we do bad. It works a lot better than just yelling.”
Remy Denton agrees. “He knows our mood, he sets the mood for the team. He’s really in touch with his players, he said.”
Throughout each game of the season, one can see Curtis pacing calmly up and down the sidelines taking notes on the game in his Palm Pilot: who scored, who had an assist. When players receive a yellow-card for physical play, Curtis pats his players on the shoulder instead of reaming them out.
Early this season, Curtis spoke of senior Danny Rostad drawing a yellow card in the team’s first game against Incline.
“Danny’s a big kid,” Curtis said. “He plays physical, I’m not going to tell him he can’t play his game.”
Players know this about Curtis and respect him for it. After the team’s only loss of the season, to Incline in zones, Curtis explained to the team in a calm manner the things they needed to work on to stay in the tournament.
“He lets the players figure it out for themselves. He lets us just play,” said senior Matt Freeman.
“He doesn’t yell. He explains things really well,” said junior Kyle Adams.
For Curtis, the award is an honor, but not one he is willing to except out-right.
“It’s always nice to recognized by your peers, but often times this decision (coach of the year) is based on the accomplishments of your team, and I certainly don’t take credit for their winning the season; it took a lot of hard work on their part. Certain years you get teams that are driven like this team is to work hard and their want to succeed is great,” Curtis said.
“Some people say great coaches make great teams, and sometimes great teams make great coaches – so you never know. In this case I think the hard work of this team has made me look pretty good.”
The Wolverines face No. 1 North Tahoe in the first round of the NIAA 3A State Championship today at North Valleys High School in Reno at 6 p.m. Truckee has tied North Tahoe once, and beat them once for the league championship in the regular season.
“I don’t think either of those games will be representative of this game. Emotions will run high, and both teams are well aware of what this game means,” Curtis said. “It’s the end of the season for one of us, and nether one of us cares to be that team.
“A lot of what happens this time of year is really based upon the momentum and motivation of the team. So it can go any number of directions, but I think the guys are ready for it.
“We have pretty much the same tournament we just played. We have North Tahoe, Truckee, Incline and Boulder City playing for a different-shaped trophy, but it’s unfortunately the one everybody remembers. It’s winner-take-all.
“I’ve lost the last game of the year before and everybody says, ‘too bad about your season.’ They forget about all of your wins and accomplishments. I’m aware, and the boys are aware; this is the game they’ll remember 20 years from now, especially the seniors that are leaving.”
“I lost a championship game when I was a senior in high school. I’m now 43, am I’m still upset about it, so I try to explain to them it will stick with you,” Curtis said half joking. “So now is the time to leave everything you’ve got out on the field. I think they’re ready for it. My senior leadership has been great and they’re getting along well.
“Good things happen to great teams and I think we have been fortunate in many ways. A lot of time, hard work is what it takes to earn yourself a little bit of luck. So hopefully with continued hard work our good fortunes will continue.”
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