Lewis stepping down as Greenville girls soccer coach after 5 seasons


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 11:44 pm on Friday, June 15, 2012

Greenville’s Mackenzie Nichols gets ready to move the ball up the field during a game against Lakeview early in the soccer season. — File photo

GREENVILLE — Nathan Lewis had been coaching Greenville girls soccer for the past five years.

But he resigned his position after the season ended so he could spend more time with his family.

“I just got to the point where I got sick of telling my three children I wasn’t going to see them the next day because I was going off to a soccer game and when I come home they were already in bed,” Lewis said.

Lewis leaves the team after they went 10-9-1 in the 2012 season.

“The first year I was there I went 1-16-1. All the last four years we were above .500 which is something I was proud of,” he said. “We got things turned around and hopefully got them in the right direction.”
Lewis was happy with the final year of coaching.

“We finished with one win more than we did last year,” he said. “Coming into this season we didn’t know what to expect because we graduated our entire defense. But we had girls who stepped up to take their spots.”

Lewis’ highlight of the season was getting past a very tough team.
“Probably the last game of the regular season was a real highlight for us because we ended up beating Northview 1-0 at their place to finish above them in the conference,” he said “Northview was a really good opponent for us because we matched up well with them and we tied them the first time around.”

Lewis cited the contributions of a couple of seniors.

“Allysen Neumann was the captain for us and led us in goals and assists,” he said. “She’s a coach on the field and really helped organize our attacking line.

“Audrey Wierda is another senior who stepped up on defense. All four years she played a different place for us. This year we asked her to anchor the defense and she did a great job.”

Lewis thinks there is a pretty good core of players returning.

“We have a great bunch of juniors that did an excellent job as a group,” he said. “We’re really excited to see what they will do in their senior season.”

He also believes the Yellow Jackets will be able to adapt to whatever the new coach wants to do.

“I think they’ll be able to handle it in stride,” he said. “The junior class is extremely athletic and I’m sure they will be able to respond positively to whoever comes in. We’ve played multiple systems just in the time I’ve been in Greenville. I’m sure they will be flexible in playing whatever system the next coach wants to use.”

Lewis said he will miss being around the team.

“I think the best thing about coaching for me has always been the girls themselves,” he said. “That’s definitely what I’m going to miss the most. The first thing was I wanted to be successful in soccer, but I also wanted the girls to be successful in life and not just on the soccer field.”

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