RRSN had a chance after the Bishop Noll at Chesterton boys soccer match on Saturday, September 17th to talk with Chesterton Trojans boys soccer head coach Jamie Sensibaugh after his team’s 1-1 tie with the Bishop Noll Warriors. Bishop Noll’s head coach, Armando Garza, picked up his 100th career win earlier this season, and the Warriors remained undefeated after the tie this afternoon, with a record of 10-0-1. Coach Jamie Sensibaugh of the Trojans (8-1-2) also joined the 100-win club earlier this week as well, and is our special guest on today’s Northwest Indiana Soccer blog on Regional Radio Sports:
Mike Knezevich: We’re here with head coach Jamie Sensibaugh of the Chesterton Trojans, and coach I wanted to congratulate you for your recent 100th career win in Northwest Indiana and soccer. What does that mean to you with all of the different kids that have played for you, the different staffs that you have had here at Chesterton, and the historical significance of that?
Coach Sensibaugh: Well I think it’s always a testament to having kids that are committed, willing to work hard, having goals, working to achieve those goals, the countless number of coaches that we’ve had along the way, and the support of the community and parents. It’s a great soccer community and I’ve been fortunate enough, I guess, to stir them in the right direction.
MK: Take us back to the time before Culver, what perked your interest in the game of soccer, specifically getting into the coaching ranks?
Coach: I grew up playing the game of soccer. I think my earliest memories were playing rec soccer at Culver very early. It was always a soccer-rich community, especially with the Culver Military Academy there, with the long time that they played soccer in the State of Indiana. Both of my parents worked at the Academy and seeing the Cadets and the different styles of flare that they would bring, depending on the countries that they represented. That was something that I started to understand that aspect of the game, the ethnic flare I guess. That then translated into high school, as I was on one of the first soccer teams at Culver. I then went to the Army, and played soccer when I left. After l left the Army, I got a chance to be an assistant coach at my alma mater at Culver. That peeked my interest as possibly doing it as a career. After Culver, there was a job opening at Chesterton on Ismail Attallah’s staff, and then I took over after he left the program. It’s been a nice pleasant experience so far.
MK: Coach, talk about your service to this country and the appreciation that you have for the men and women that are fighting for our freedom each and every day.
Coach: Very few people truthfully understand the sacrifice that’s made on our behalf on a daily basis. Not just members of our military, but their families. I think the thing that I take from my own personal experience is just how difficult it must have been for my parents. I was 19 yers old. I knew where I was at and what was going on, but they’re the ones who had to hold the vigil at home, not knowing, listening to the news, wondering. Often times, it’s a lot more difficult for those left behind than it is for those that are actually there and involved. As a country, it’s been ten years that we have been in Afghanistan and Iraq and yet there still only a few who have served and understand the commitment. Whenever we get the word out there, and let people understand that there are people that are doing those things on our behalf, I think that’s a good thing.
MK: You’ve seen a lot of growth in the game of soccer in your years at Chesterton, as well as in the state of Indiana. We’ve now gone to multiple-class soccer and have also seen growth into the other communities that were not as prominent back years ago. I’d like you to comment on the growth of the sport and where you think the sport is headed right now.
Coach: Clearly the sport among young players in particular, there’s more opportunity for them to play. Not just recreation, but travel and club soccer. Many of them are taking advantage of all three of those. You have now middle schools that have teams. I think the coaching and education that people have received, and the help that the National Soccer Coaches Association gives in preparing coaches now is top notch, and many of them take advantage of that. I think a lot of the growth of the sport comes from teaching the fundamentals at a young age. I know that here at Chesterton within our club structure that seems to be the emphasis and that pays off in the way of dividends. I think worldwide, it’s the game that everybody wants to play and gravitates toward. I think still in America we have a ways to go, but we’re getting there. Especially as we start to engage more in the inner city, and give them opportunities to get the same kind of chances to play at younger age. That’s where the growth really will have an explosion at that point.
MK: We’ll give you a wrap up Coach. Let’s look at this year’s installment of the Trojans, the Duneland Conference Race. How do you see things shaping up now? Not too much of difference as far as you your Duneland opponents in the sectional, but maybe, what could be a Super Regional (at Merrillville) coming up after that.
Coach: There’s a lot of parity right now. You look at our schedule, one game after another seems like it’s going to be battle. It’s going to be difficult. You can’t take anything for granted week to week, game to game. You know the coaching cliché “looking at each game one at a time”. And right now it’s Portage. I haven’t, to be honest with you, thought past our regular and into the postseason, but if you do get that crystal ball out and look that Regional (Merrillville), it could be a bear for whoever ends up making it there. I hope we can. I like this team. We’ve got a good team. They got a year of experience last year. Now they’re all one year older. The core of this team seems to be our junior class. Looking to the future, I get to have those kids back again next year. We’ve had a good season. The tie (vs Bishop Noll) we had here today I thought was a well-played game. That’s soccer. You don’t win every game in this game. So, you look to just try to correct mistakes that you made and be consistent.