Coach Causes Catastrophe

Kieu Mai, Photographer/Social Media

What happened to the South Pointe Girls Soccer team? Just last season, they were breaking records left and right: from being Region 4A Champs to beating Rock Hill High School for the first time in school history. Now, their team is dismantled and left in pieces, all within a matter of months.

Following a very successful season with multiple school records being broken, the South Pointe Girls Soccer Team suffered a huge loss among itself.

Coach Marin, now the Girls Soc, offered girls on both JV and Varsity private soccer lessons, so that players could “practice out of the season to continue improving as players,” as stated by Marin himself in a message sent out on June 12, 2019 to the girls through the Band App, a form of communication for the team.

Motivated players, including sophomore Lawson Veale, took the opportunity to gain extra practice and attended these private lessons, despite it being against the rules of the South Carolina High School League. In SCHSL’s rule book, it specifically states that through the dates of July 22-December 2, girls “cannot practice” or “cannot do any skill training,” which in other words means, there must be no practice with a ball during this time because it is considered a closed season. However, Coach Marin continued on with his private lessons, in which he asked for money in return. After a few sessions, the violation was brought up to South Pointe’s Athletic Director Hare, who ultimately put an end to it. 

In October 2019, Marin sent out a message to the girls that summarized how proud he was of their accomplishments, as well as his ultimate decision to step down from being their head coach in order to avoid being fired. Emotions and reactions varied from girl to girl about the sudden news.

Sophomore Carly Kennedy explained that she felt “it was very good that he got fired, just because of how he was coaching,” and thought it was a good decision but “should’ve been done a lot sooner for many other reasons.”

Many girls who experienced Marin’s coaching know that he is tough, and you must have a tough exterior to play on his team.

Senior Zoe Kennedy, also last year’s team captain, described the situation as “difficult,” but felt as though “Marin knew the consequences, but was focused on himself,” and agrees that it was a good decision to fire Marin.

Other girls were saddened by his “resignation” and questioned whether to play for the 2019-2020 season.

“Even though I only experienced only one season with him, Marin always put an effort in trying to get to know us and how we play, which is why I questioned whether or not I wanted to meet a new coach and play this year,” explained Junior Andrea de la Cruz. 

After months of confusion and everything up in the air, the girls and their families received an email from Athletic Director Hare detailing the restrictions placed upon the team due to these severe violations.

“As it stands, we have a fine, lose our first 3 days of practice, can only have one scrimmage, cannot host any events, and cannot participate in post season play,” the emailed explained.

Furthermore, Athletic Director Hare stated that he would go before the High School League Executive Committee to appeal this ruling, in which in the future only appealed the playoffs, meaning the girls are now allowed to participate in the playoffs.

In response, the girls felt as though the punishments were too harsh and it was already a punishment not having a coach because “now we have to start over how we learn from a coach and our team has to cope with a new one,” said Sophomore Ava Robitaille.

Hopefully, these new changes will not offset the many accomplishments the girls soccer team has achieved so far.