Wilson and Walker take over Wiregrass soccer

Boys soccer coaches, Dave Wilson and Avery Walker, step up to help the girls varsity soccer team.


Zach Santiago

Coach Wilson watching the boys varsity game against Zephryhills High.

Mid-December, the Wiregrass Ranch varsity girls soccer team found themselves without a head coach. Due to the difficulty finding a replacement so late in the season, the varsity boys coach, Dave Wilson, as well as the junior varsity boys coach, Avery Walker, decided to coach both varsity teams for the remainder of the season.

Since this decision, the girls and boys teams have been practicing together to allow the coaches to monitor both teams. The teams run the same drills, and the varsity girls team even scrimmages against the boys junior varsity team. This change has noticeably affected the girls varsity team.

Patchara Cahoon
Coach Walker and the team with the district final trophy.

“Our practices and preparations for games is a lot different than their prior coach, so it was an adjustment,” Coach Wilson explained. “Both teams support each other way more now and the pace of play has helped the girls.”

The girls team currently boasts a record of 19-1-1, and have not lost a game since Wilson and Walker took over, including the District Championship game. Meanwhile, the boys have a record of 22-2-2 and are ranked ninth in the state. Both teams are currently preparing for the Regional Semi-Finals.

Dave Wilson started the Wiregrass Ranch boys soccer program when the school opened in 2006, and it has only improved over the years. Last year, Avery Walker, a math teacher at Wiregrass, joined the program as an assistant coach. Both coaches are well-known for their positivity and dedication to their athletes and students.

I think having Coach Wilson and Coach Walker take over the girl’s team helped both teams bond and made our teams even stronger.

— Braeden Erdmann

Varsity girls team Sweeper, sophomore Kayla Ojeda, had Walker as a teacher before he became her coach.

“Coach Walker helped me believe in myself in the classroom and on the field; helping me to always be confident when I play,” Ojeda said.

Senior captain and Midfielder, Kylee Ehman, has played on the varsity team for the past three years.

“I love that they’re coaching the team,” Ehman explained.  “They have taught us patience and spacing, and have brought a lot of positivity and energy to the team.”

Coach Walker felt like the leadership on the girls team was a major contributing factor to their success as well.

“They had great leadership this year even though it was quite a young team; the seniors stepped up and led by example which set the standard for the underclassmen,” Walker explained.

Hans Elmeus
Senior Kylee Ehman looking to send a through ball.

The girls varsity team moves on to the Regional Semi-Finals tonight against St. Petersburg. The boys varsity team competes Saturday against Palmetto.

“It was nice to still be able to accomplish things this season with Wilson and Walker as coaches and prove to people that no matter what, we can stay together as a team and work to achieve our goals with coaches who help get us there,” Sophomore Forward Rylee Humphries said.