Soccer is still experiencing growing pains at Bryan County High School, but first-year boys’ soccer coach Roman Czerwinski is optimistic about his fledgling program.
Consider it a new day dawning in Pembroke after the Redskins’ season was canceled last spring.
"We are starting fresh this year with a new attitude. I am excited to help mold these young players into a team," Czerwinski said, noting he’s got a handful of kids with experience at the club level but most are new to a sport the rest of the world calls football.
That fresh start got a bit of a bounce Monday when Bryan County thrashed Metter 6-1. Nathan Woods scored 3 goals while Devon Hardy had 2 and Bryan Morgan added a goal for the Redskins, now 1-0.
Hardy, Woods, Chance Oliver and Christian Thomas are the team’s senior leadership, and all four have club experience.
"That is a great asset to have," Czerwinski said. "They have to demonstrate leadership and commitment. I know they all can rise to the challenge and lead this team."
Czerwinski’s philosophy is built on fundamentals.
"A great team has discipline, great team work and commitment," he said. "The students are only going to get out of the season as much as they put into it. They need to be tactically, technically and physically competent to see positive results on the score board."
Czerwinksi has coached at the recreation, middle school and high school level in Savannah, where Region 2-AA rival Benedictine has a long history of competing at the highest level in the Coastal Empire.
Bryan County, on the other hand, is still starting out.
"Our high school is very small and with little to no soccer tradition in the community and within the school," said Czerwinski, who is still teaching the rules to some of his players and has a bench only two players deep. "We have to fight for the only other spot available to make the playoffs. "
That said, he’s not counting his young team out.
"I think that in my first year we can challenge other teams with more talent and tradition in the sport. Our players know that they have a chance to make the state tournament. "