On March 2, our Rams’ Boys Soccer team pulled off an upset that many didn’t think would happen as they defeated Atlanta International School (AIS). Despite being an unranked, underestimated team, their win against the #4 team in Georgia didn’t come as a surprise to some people. This could be the beginning of something special for our boys soccer program at The Weber School and the coaches will be the first to tell you that. Prior to their game against the #1 ranked team in Georgia, The Paideia School, I sat down with the assistant coach to talk about his love of soccer, the state of the team before their game at Paideia, and the future of the team.
Colt Priest, better known as “Coach Colt,” is in his third year as the Weber Boys Varsity Assistant Soccer Coach. His background includes being a former collegiate player for Newberry College in South Carolina, as well as coaching for over five years. Between his professional tryouts, he would go to the soccer clubs coached by his dad Jimmy Priest, a former Weber soccer coach, for extra training until he eventually realized that he could be a paid coach in his free time. When I asked what he loved about coaching, he replied by saying that “[he is] able to give [kids] tips and tricks years earlier than [he] learned them.” He felt that his coaching staff in college “wasn’t necessarily the best,” which allowed his team to lack chemistry (team bonding). This is a main reason why he emphasizes team chemistry, “an x-factor that swings momentum a lot,” to any team he coaches.
Coach Colt has a great amount of faith in his team and loves the pace they are playing this season. When I asked about the team going forward this season, he answered, “I feel very good about it. We have a small region so we only play three teams twice [two of them being Paideia and The Galloway School]. We can beat them and easily come in at least second place for our region.” Being in a new region has brought adversity, and Coach Colt feels that the team “[is] very underestimated by other teams, but they know that and it sort of makes them play with a chip on their shoulder.”
“Going into Paideia, we have the ability to beat them.” Coach Colt really liked the chance that his team had against the state’s best team, but wanted to “switch formations a bit” to see how Paideia will respond. Paideia responded by winning 8-3. When I asked him about possibly playing this team in the playoffs again, he replied, “I think that we absolutely have the ability to beat them in the playoffs. They’ve lost to teams this year, so obviously they are beatable.” Clearly, this will be a tough test for our Rams Soccer team, but they will have a chance to make school history by beating another elite team in the state.
While talking about the team’s strengths and weaknesses, Coach Colt confessed that the Rams lack mental toughness, and “[they have to] string together that full 80 minutes, and play well for every minute.” However, there is plenty of upside to this, as it is something that can definitely be improved through practice. They are one of the more underrated teams so they will definitely be a team to look out for this year.
As we closed the interview, Coach Colt had a simple message for the Weber Rams student body: “Come out and support our home games because this is the best Weber soccer has been in awhile.” Additionally, he reminded me that, “[they] will be the best (team) you will see from your time as a freshman to graduation.”