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Cupples set bar high for soccer at Westview

Cupples set bar high for soccer at Westview

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 12:00 pm

By RANDY CAVIN Press Sports As was reported last week, Westview is in need of some coaches with three leaving their duties. The now former Lady Chargers soccer coach, Matt Cupples, is leaving for a job at UT Martin, where he will be working in the Health and Human Performance Department. He is no stranger to the department as he was a graduate assistant there before taking on the soccer coaching duties. “I was a graduate assistant there from 2008 to 2010,” Cupples said. “I had a connection there, and it was to get me some experience. The opportunity came about for me to be fulltime there this fall.” Cupples said he took some time to think about it and decided to pursue the job opportunity, but he also admitted it was a difficult decision to make. “It was definitely tough,” he said. “It was a hard decision to make to leave this wonderful school.” He will not be leaving an empty shelf for the next head coach, as he has built a solid program at Westview with a solid foundation for future success. “The girls have bought into everything I have put out there,” he said. “You cannot ask for any more effort than they showed over the last three years.” Cupples guided the Lady Chargers to a 41-17-2 record during his time as head coach and took the Lady Chargers to the sectionals in each of his three seasons. Westview lost to McNairy 5-1 in the 2010 sectionals, fell to Madison 5-0 in 2011 and lost to Sacred Heart 3-0 in last year’s sectionals. “We have been to the sub-state three years in a row and, unfortunately, we could not get over that hump,” Cupples said. “There are a lot of teams who cannot say they have done that.” Cupples admitted that it was not all him; a lot of his success had to do with the players he coached such as Kayla Guthrie, McKenzie Vincent and Melissa Johnson. Johnson signed to play soccer for Freed-Hardeman in Cupples’ first year at Westview, and Vincent was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State team. “I have been blessed here to have athletes who could co-exist,” he said. “Coaching girls is tough to do sometimes and get them to co-exist. I have had some very, very good players here and I have been lucky to coach them.” Cupples will be starting his transition from Westview to UTM beginning in the early summer, but in the meantime he will be helping the school find a new coach and finishing up the conditioning with the soccer team. Whomever Westview hires as the next head coach of the Lady Chargers will have a strong group of sophomores and freshmen after losing several key players to graduation. Cupples believes the next head coach will have success for years to come with what he has built. “They have a good group coming back,” he said. “They lost a lot of seniors and lost a lot of leadership. There is a good core group of freshmen and sophomores. “If they stick together and continue to buy in with the program, then I think they will have a lot of successful seasons for years to come.” In posting a 15-5-1 record this past season, the Lady Chargers recorded 10 of their victories by shutout. After beating Westview in the sectionals, Sacred Heart lost 2-0 to Christ Presbyterian Academy in the opening round of the Class A-AA state tournament.

Published in The WCP 5.21.13

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