Warren Michael coached the girls soccer team at Mount Hebron the last three years. He wishes the Vikings all the best.
Jonathan Davis coached the girls junior varsity team at Atholton the last two years. He wishes those girls now on the Atholton varsity all the best.
You see, Michael is now coaching at Atholton and Davis is now coaching the varsity at Mount Hebron. Today at Atholton, they meet for the first time since switching schools.
"The girls are really motivated," said Davis. "They've worked hard this week to prepare. They want to show their old coach they're a team to be reckoned with. This is a big game."
Said Michael about his former players: "I hope they do well this season. I just hope they don't beat us."
Michael coached at Mount Hebron last year while teaching at Atholton. It was a situation he wanted to change.
"I didn't like leaving everybody [at Atholton] and going to Mount Hebron," said Michael, who replaced Jim Carlan. "I wanted to feel more part of the school. I think the change was good for me and good for the Hebron girls."
Both coaches are pleased with their teams. Atholton is 4-1-1 overall after a scoreless tie last week against Centennial in its opening league game. Mount Hebron is 3-3 overall after dropping a 3-1 decision last week at Oakland Mills.
"We just played bend but not break," Michael said about his team's game against Centennial. "I was really proud of the way they played. They didn't give up.
"We're not a great team, but we can be competitive because Julie [Kapcala] is playing well in goal, we play good defense and a lot of people are contributing."
Michael said sweeper Janine Dauberman, marking back Mandy Robins and halfback Alika Crew have played well.
Davis brought a new coaching style and philosophy with him to Mount Hebron, something that senior midfielder Julie Kickham has enjoyed.
"I think with a new coach and new philosophy, we've really improved this year," said Kickham, a second-team All-County performer last year. "I'm really pleased. I think we've come together as a team. The things Mr. Davis is doing are really working."
Kickham said it will be interesting to "see how the different coaching strategies match up" and that she is looking forward to playing against her former coach.
"It's going to be fun," Kickham said. "We don't want to prove anything to him. We just want to show him that we're playing well. I guess it's about pride."
But Kickham and Davis both said the game was important for more then just playing against a former coach.
"We need a good showing for ourselves," said Davis, whose Vikings finished 4-10 last year. "We want to prove to the other county teams that Hebron will be competitive. That a game against Hebron will not be an easy game."
Howard senior forward Sara Nunnally has a bad case of poison ivy on her leg and coach Dave Vezzi said she is questionable for today's soccer game at Centennial.
Nunnally, who scored the Lions' winning goal last week against Glenelg, has not practiced all week.
"It really takes a major part of our game away," Vezzi said. "I just can't replace her with one person. I'm going to have to move four players around. It's going to hurt us, no doubt."