It’s still football season and the start of basketball season at Port Allen high school, but this year is a little different in athletics.
For the first time in school history, Port Allen has a soccer team that took the field for the first time in regular-season play Nov. 16 at home against Brusly.
The boys’ soccer team consists of 12 players and the head coach is synonymous with sports at the school, just not soccer.
Port Allen athletic Director John Williams is coaching the team and he said the idea of getting a soccer team came from the willingness to include more students in athletics.
“I was kind of throwing the idea out there to see if there was interest and they were interested,” Williams said. “We didn’t have a coach and we didn’t have the money, so I thought I’d coach the team for free. I’m still looking for a certified coach to help out.”
Williams said the biggest challenge for the team in its first year is the individuals on the team learning to come together as a team. He added that he’s still learning the game as the kids continue to improve.
“We’re going to keep it going,” Williams said. “We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up to the top. I knew track (and field) like the back of my hand. I’m learning soccer. It’s all in the effort in trying to get them better.”
Port Allen has only three varsity games scheduled in the regular season and Williams admitted scheduling has been tough because the program is still in the development stage and could hurt a team’s strength of schedule, which factors into the power ratings.
Williams said the best thing is that the kids on the team get a chance to play a sport they love.
“The kids that I have, they love soccer,” Williams said. “They want to play. That’s half of the battle. I had kids on campus who wanted to participate in athletics. As the athletic director, I wanted to give every kid a chance to participate in athletics.”
The team’s next varsity game will be Monday, Dec. 2 at home against Brighton.