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2014-15 Boys soccer coach of the year: Jon Spencer, Servite
When Jon Spencer was hired as Servite’s boys soccer coach three seasons ago, he made defense the focus for the Friars.
Not just for the four guys manning the backline. Everyone on the field had a role to play when the opposition had the ball.
For Spencer is was an exercise in building discipline, a way to get the team to concentrate on something that could help Servite succeed.
This season, the Friars’ defensive prowess helped the team capture the school’s first CIF-SS soccer championship. For his guidance, Spencer has been selected the Register’s coach of the year for boys soccer.
“I am proud of this group. This is a special one,” Spencer said. “They put themselves into history at Servite. And no one can say that they won it because of this guy or that guy. This is the best team that Servite has ever had. We proved that. They put their egos and personal agendas to the side to do what they needed to help the team.
“We have been preparing for the championship for two years, and we got it.”
It was fitting that Servite shut out El Toro, 2-0, in the championship match. Under Spencer, the Friars have played such tenacious defense that 35 of their last 57 games (61 percent) have ended in a shutout.
The Friars set a school record by holding 18 opponents scoreless in 2013-14. They had 17 shutouts this season.
Once the defensive foundation was established, senior midfielder JT Cook said the Friars could concentrate on scoring some goals, which they did this year in record numbers.
The Friars averaged 3.0 goals per game, giving them 93 for the season, which eclipsed the previous school record of 84, set in 2011-2012.
“Coach came in an established a new idea at Servite where we are not just building soccer players but better people too,” Cook said. “It helped us appreciate everyone who was on the team. And that is what made this season so special: Everyone worked together as a team.”
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