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New Soccer Season, New Coach: Richard Friday

Ja'lin West

Ja'lin West

Jack Selig, Staff Writer

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Experience. This is one aspect that has been added to the ranks of the boys soccer team, but not through a player.

Richard Friday, the new coach for the boys soccer team, says he plans to use this experience to build the soccer program and challenge for the state championship this upcoming season.

“I took up the job at Bryant to coach at a high level,” Friday said. “We have a lot to build a program here, and when I was talking with the athletic director, that is the first reason I told him I wanted to come to Bryant.”

Before taking the position at Bryant, Friday coached at Pulaski Academy and J.A. Fair high school. He also coaches Arkansas United, a club soccer team in Little Rock.

“Coach can connect to the players on more of a soccer level than our previous coach,” senior Dalton Bryant said. “He is closer to us because of the large amount of experience he has with soccer.”

Junior Edgar Tejada sees differences in the style of coaching between Friday and Jason Hay, the previous coach.

“Coach Hay’s practices involved a lot of running based on endurance,” Tejada said. “With Coach Friday, we put more emphasis on technical skills and getting faster.”

Friday wants to focus more on the technical side of the game compared to being the most dominant team physically on the field.

“The technique is there from the boys, but I think the execution is lacking,” Friday said. “They need to focus on trying to execute everything in the game right all the time.”

Coach Friday is known to have a more relaxed and fun relationship with the players during practice.

“The relationship between coach and the players is very interesting,” senior Dalton Bryant said.

“Coach has two different levels of emotion. If he is upset, he won’t be so friendly, but if he is fine, then he will mess around with us.”

Last year, the varsity hornets were 12-8 during the season, and Friday hopes to improve on that.

“We have loads of potential, and if the kids will grit down and work hard, we can surprise a lot of people this year,” Friday said. “We can hold a good position in the conference, and hopefully that will propel us to go higher up in the state.”

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