Following in their coach’s footsteps
Published 8:59 am Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Katie Czirr knows that hard work produces positive results on a soccer field.
That’s how she became a two-time all-conference selection at Kalamazoo Central High School for soccer and a swimmer at Grand Valley State University.
Czirr wants the players on the Niles girls soccer team to follow her lead and make the most out of their high school soccer career.
At the end of last November, she was hired to become the girls soccer coach at Niles High School.
“I had to work more at soccer growing up,” said Czirr. “Swimming kind of came more naturally to me.
“(At Niles) we’ve got to be more adamant with our conditioning outside of the season,” whether that’s doing another sport, travel soccer or getting into the weight room,”
“We’re in the SMAC and it’s a tough conference. You run into teams that are ranked in the top 10 in the state every year.
Czirr’s challenge is to turn around a Niles girls soccer program that has struggled in recent years.
She isn’t discouraged despite the team’s slow start this year. The Vikings fell to 1-7-1 after a 5-0 loss to Sturgis on April 29th.
“I’ve always loved soccer,” Czirr said. “It’s always been my passion. I love watching the girls grow so it’s really nice to see the relationship and trust between us.”
Czirr saw progress from her team in the loss to Sturgis. After being outshot, 12-2, in the first half, the Vikings regrouped and outshot the Trojans, 7-6, in the second half.
“The girls are ready to try to anything,” Czirr said. “My team has been really receptive and really positive. They have each other’s backs.
“It’s not easy playing in the SMAC with where we’e at, but the growth we continue to make has been amazing to watch. My girls are really putting in the effort and I’m really proud of them.”