At Nebraska Soccer Talk, we love covering everything soccer related. For the most part, that means covering games and providing analysis/opinions. However, our overall mission and purpose is far reaching and ambitious. Our goal is to bring the soccer community closer together through collaboration and communication. There are countless people that deserve recognition for their efforts as a player, official, or coach. Throughout the season, we will be highlighting these individuals through our Get To Know Me articles.
This will be a series made up of three different components. All of which are meant to bring attention to the soccer community.
- Get To Know Me (Coach Edition) – These individuals are responsible for building their programs, growing the game of soccer, and mentoring the next generation. We look forward to learning about their lives and philosophies.
- Get To Know Me (Player Edition) – This article series will focus on high school juniors and seniors that have demonstrated themselves to be quality players and people. With these features, our community will learn about some of the most impressive players in the state.
- Future of the Game – This article series will focus on the freshmen and sophomore classes. These are players that we will be covering for years to come.
Thank you to every individual that provided information for this idea. We appreciate your thoughtful and timely responses.
Name of High School Program: Omaha Burke Girls
Occupation Outside of Coaching: Art teacher at Burke
Favorite Professional Soccer Team: Chelsea FC
Philosophy: Our first goal is to live up to the standards set in the Burke
High School motto, Loyalty, Integrity, Honor. In doing so, we hope to create and maintain a
winning attitude through teaching young women the value of leadership, teamwork, discipline,
toughness (mental & physical), and self-sacrifice. All of this will be integrated into a competitive
environment. You will compete against yourself, your teammates and your opponents. We hope
each young woman will a have a positive experience and develop a sense of pride in Burke High
School. We will teach you to make good decisions. We will teach to you not be afraid to fail. We
will teach you character through winning and more importantly, through losing. We will teach
you to have a competitive drive on and off the field.
Who would you consider to be your soccer mentor? What is the story behind your selection? How did they help you in your soccer journey?
Mike Bailey. He was head boys coach at Burke when I started my coaching career in
2003 with the boys team. I worked as his JV coach and his Varsity Assistant. He taught me everything he knew and was an amazing example to try and emulate. Much of which I still do today.
Describe a favorite soccer memory that you have been involved with. This memory could be from your playing or coaching experiences. Tell us the story and impact of this memory.
Beating #1 seeded Norfolk in the 2017 District Semifinal as the #4 seed. We had had THE most
injury plagued season I have ever been a part of. We had 9 concussions, an ACL tear, and ankle
sprain, a thigh bruise and 2 bouts of stomach bugs and a GK with a back injury. It was a year of
constant changes and adjustments. I had some fierce competitors sidelined with concussions that
couldn’t STAND not playing. We had some heart-to heart talks about what was most important
in life; playing now or dealing with brain issues at age 25. We followed all the rules and did
things the right way and finally had my entire team at full strength (minus the ACL tear) for the
first round of districts. We went in as the 4th seed, traveled to #1 seed Norfolk and beat them 3-1!
It wasn’t just the win, but how hard the players battled all season and never gave up when it
would have been so easy to just call it quits.
List and describe three important pillars or values of your program. What is the culture of your program built on? What do they mean to you?
2. Don’t be afraid to fail
3. Toughness, both mental and physical
Team unity. When all players are putting the team before self, good things happen.
All of these things combined mean I am more concerned about helping shape young women that will be successful in life BECAUSE they played soccer. Sports teach so many things, and I try to focus on all of those aspects that AREN’T soccer before and during the coaching of the game I love.
What is your motivation for coaching? This is a time-consuming and challenging occupation. Why do you do it?
I love the feel of belonging and community that sports brings.
Being an art teacher, I am certified to teach K-12 and one of the main reasons I chose to teach at
the secondary level was that school pride that sports can bring to a school. Also I love being able
to connect with and get to know students that DON’T take art. I always have some soccer players
in my art classes, but I would miss out on knowing some pretty amazing humans if I didn’t coach
Thank you for reading and being a part of our new community. A like, share, comment or recommendation of content would be greatly appreciated. In order to financially support our efforts, sponsorship/partnership opportunities have become available. Sponsors will receive vast exposure to the Nebraska soccer community through different media avenues. The sponsorship process is easy and reasonable.