MYRTLE BEACH — When it comes to soccer, every coach is different. Every coach has a method, a mindset, and a formula. Seahawks boys soccer coach Jason Himmelsbach has found his formula, and it seems to be working flawlessly.
“It’s easy to say one game at a time,” Himmelsbach said after his team’s 2-1 victory over St. James on Tuesday. “It’s the old cliché in sports but we have so many little micro-goals on this team, almost to a daily level where it’s … today we want to get better at this, this week we want to get better at this, we want to win this game and this game, and then for the month or the season we want to win the region, we want to go to the first round of the playoffs and win.
“I think that having those little micro-goals keeps us focused and keeps us in that mentality where we can focus each game and each night, and even each day in practice.”
That level certainly was risen in a heated matchup between the Seahawks (11-2, ranked No. 1 in Region VII-AAA) and St. James (10-3, ranked No. 11 in Region VII-AAA).
Myrtle Beach’s Nick Wunder scored four minutes into the game, with an assist from Mason Lewis, and Nolin Butler got the Seahawks’ second and final goal with Lewis providing his second assist of the night.
“It was a good game. I thought it was two good teams, two of what I think are the top teams in the Lower State, you know battling it out for the region,” Himmelsbach said. “I thought we were fortunate to get the win, I thought St. James played really, really well and we got a lead and we were able to hang onto it, I mean they came at us to the last whistle.”
With St. James’ soccer field undergoing maintenance, their scheduled home game was moved to Myrtle Beach’s Doug Shaw Stadium. In the end, locale didn’t matter as the intense conference rivalry provided just as much action as expected.
“Oh absolutely, yeah [conference games are more intense],” Himmelsbach said. “We just came from a tournament in Columbia where we played some really good competition and none of that matches the atmosphere here. When you’ve got a good crowd like we did tonight, and guys that know each other that have played against each other for years, played with each other, and you get them on the same field, it definitely raises it a few levels.”
Success is nothing new for a Myrtle Beach team that has been ranked No. 1 since beating region rival Socastee earlier this season. The credit for such success?
“All the boys,” Himmelsbach said. “ It’s just a good group of young men that that have bought into a team that have some experience but also have that passion and that hunger and that desire to make it the best possible team they can and I think so far they’ve done a real good job of that. We’ve got big plans and there’s still a lot of season left.”
Goals – MB: Nick Wunder, Nolin Butler STJ: Quadarius Grate.
G oalkeepers – MB: Anthony Silvestri (6). STJ: Haywood Brandon (7).
Records – Myrtlee Beach 11-3, St. James 10-3.
Contact JOSH BELL at 444-1702.