Lucas Lemine doesn’t give up easily.
The newly-named Greenbrier East boys soccer coach wanted to play the sport at WVU Tech, where he was also playing baseball.
He got shot down.
“I was told by the soccer coach that I’d never play,” Lemine said.
Considering that baseball wasn’t much fun either — he didn’t like what he saw as lack of camaraderie, or that he was forced to pitch instead of playing shortstop — it was time for a change.
And to prove a point.
Lemine transferred to Concord University, where he played soccer and excelled.
“I was captain of the soccer team my senior year, and I was honorable mention All-(West Virginia) Conference,” he said.
Now Lemine looks to use that same determination to turn around a Greenbrier East program that won just four matches last season while losing 13 and drawing three.
When former coach Patrick Murat resigned, Lemine jumped at the chance to coach his old team.
“I wanted to step in and give it a shot. I know all the kids and their parents,” he said. “They wanted me to coach.”
The Spartans will return six of 11 starters, including striker-center midfielder Cordel Bostic and defender Perry Ludwig.
East is currently in its first week of summer ball. Player attendance has been limited, but Lemine said it’s not from a lack of enthusiasm.
“It’s been great. We haven’t had the numbers we anticipated because a lot of kids are on vacation or at 4-H,” he said. “We’ve had 12 to 16 kids each practice, and we’re looking to have around 41 in the fall. They ended last year with 24 and didn’t have a JV team.”
While the majority of practice has been skills work, Lemine is now moving to tactics.
The Spartans are going to emphasize possession and moving the ball.
“We’re going to be an attacking team,” he said. “The last few years East had good defenses, but had problems putting the ball in the back of the net.
“We’re going to possess the ball and try to shove it down people’s throats.”
Improving athletics and discipline are other key areas.
“When I was in school we had kids with at least a 3.0 (GPA). We were scholars and got our names in the paper for things other than sports,” Lemine said. “We’re going to work with the teachers. I want the players to get better academically.
“We’re working on discipline — the kids had a lot of problems last year. I want them to work in the community.”
He’s encouraged that Greenbrier County now has a youth soccer program. That should help immensely.
“They didn’t have that when I was a kid. That makes me feel good for the future,” Lemine said.
“I always wanted to be a coach, but I didn’t know what sport. After college I knew I wanted to be around soccer.
“I’m really excited about it.”
— E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucas Lemine doesn’t give up easily.
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