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A new chapter in Lady Braves soccer has begun as first-year head coach Sarah Boone takes over a program that appeared in the regional tournament last season.
Boone replaces Melinda White, who resigned at the end of the soccer season.
For Boone, the opportunity to coach soccer was a big key for her after graduating from Northern Kentucky University in May, with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.
“When I graduated, I still loved the sport of soccer and the best way for me to do that was for me to be a coach and for me the best fit was Grant County,” she said.
Boone likes the small town feel that Grant County has to offer and feels there isn’t as much pressure as some of the high schools in Northern Kentucky.
Boone currently works as a trainer at Fitworks in Newport and will be traveling back and forth from her job as a trainer to coaching the Lady Braves this season.
One thing that this Pennsylvania native has is experience playing soccer and will translate that into her coaching.
Boone moved to Cincinnati for college, attending Cincinnati Christian University, making the soccer team as a freshman, her first time playing for a school.
“I had always played recreational or club soccer,” she said. “The transition wasn’t difficult not playing high school soccer. However, playing for a school was cool, because I never had experienced school spirit and it was a neat feeling.”
In her first year with the program however, Boone injured her knee, ending her playing career. With the training needed to build strength in her knee, Boone fell in love with training, causing her to transfer to NKU to pursue a career as a fitness trainer.
Grant County High School athletic director Scott Shipp said Boone is going to have a positive effect on the girls.
“She is bringing this program a former soccer player,” he said. “She also brings the experience of being an athletic trainer. Soccer is a sport in which you have to be in top physical condition. She is also very organized and is fresh out of college, which will allow the girls to get what they need in order to take soccer to the next level.”
Shipp said Boone was the best out of five applicants for the position.
Boone had the girls conditioning in April and once school let out, she had them working on training for the upcoming season.
“I feel my educational experience and fitness knowledge will help these girls know how to prevent injuries,” she said. “Also I am young and can relate to the girls better than say someone 30 years old.”
Even though the experience is there, this is Boone’s first year being a head coach, which she said there will be a learning curve there.
“My goal and the girls’ goal are to win districts,” she said. “I am going to get to know these girls and where they are at, so I can push them to new levels. I have no system to coach them. I am going to be coaching to their skill levels.”
Boone said her aspirations for coaching came from her coach at CCU, Kevin Combs.
“Hands down he is the best coach I have had in my entire life,” she said.
Combs said he anticipates Boone being a successful coach.
“Sarah is a very unique and special person full of life,” he said. “She was always willing to learn new positions on the field. She is energetic and knew when and when not to talk. She will carry that over into her coaching.”
As for the season, which starts on Aug. 15 at Frankfort, Boone said she is anxious to get started.
“I am counting down the clock,” she said.