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After a decade on the sidelines, Coach Rocco hangs up his cleats

Coach+Pat+Rocco+watches+from+the+sideline+as+the+varsity+girls+team+battles+Hazelwood+East.
Coach Pat Rocco watches from the sideline as the varsity girls team battles Hazelwood East.

Coach Pat Rocco watches from the sideline as the varsity girls team battles Hazelwood East.

Coach Pat Rocco watches from the sideline as the varsity girls team battles Hazelwood East.

Jaren Randels, Editor

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The score board has shut off and the field lights have dimmed, at least partially, for Coach Pat Rocco’s soccer coaching career. He has been the head coach of varsity soccer for the boys and girls for 10 years. Coach Rocco has decided to step down from his position as the boys coach after this year.

“There is so much I will miss about coaching, but this is a decision that I have to make,” said Rocco about his decision to resign as the head soccer coach.

Being a father, husband, teacher, and coach can be a lot to handle and at times can be overwhelming for one person.

“It was a hard decision but coaching soccer has taken away time from me being with my family,” said Rocco.

“I love coaching soccer, and because of that I sacrificed time with my wife and two daughters to do so. But now, I can’t sacrifice much more as I my daughters are now growing up and I want to be more apart of them growing up,” he said.

Although Rocco may be adjusting his role, he will always have special events to reminisce on.

Back in the 2013 boys season, Central had just lost to Hazelwood West 0-5 and that was who they were up against the next week in districts. Before the game Tyler Ryan, the captain of the team, told Rocco that he would guarantee a win against Hazelwood West in districts. Sure enough Tyler followed through with a 3-2 win against Hazelwood West the following week in districts.

“Beating West 3-2 in districts after losing 0-5 week before is definitely something I will always remember,” said Rocco.

Throughout his career, Rocco has inspired many soccer players to follow their dreams and believe in themselves.

“He has inspired me to become a professional soccer player because he has taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to,” said Sophomore Devin Matteoni.

Instead of yelling and screaming, Coach Rocco takes different approaches to coaching.

“He was the best coach I ever had because he actually talked me through actions and didn’t yell me, I felt comfortable to ask questions,” said Junior Renisha Davis.

Coach Rocco isn’t just a leader and helping hand on the field; he also teaches valuable life lessons to his players.

“I was caught cheating on a project and instead of bashing me, he told me how it wouldn’t further my academics but more so hold it back,” said Freshman Christian Dale.

The boys and girls Rocco coached were not the only to be taught life lessons. Assistant coach, Coach Claire Lovercheck learned a couple life lessons as well.

“Coaching with Rocco allowed me to see different ways to approach a player and how to correct a behavior without being rude,” she said.

Reviews from Rocco’s coaching staff were just as impressive as those from his players.

“Coach Rocco was always a team player when it came to coaching and he was never afraid to take criticism as a leader,” said assistant coach Coach Bob Spotanski.

The final season is coming to an end for the girls as they have a record of 14-8 with districts starting this week. The boys, whose season ended in the fall of 2015, they finished with a record of 10-10.

The new head coach for the boys soccer team, Mr. Jeff Facchin, was announced on May 12th.

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