Highland School boys soccer Coach Reynolds Oare (right) with Assistant Coaches Mark Miller (left) and Ronnie Ross.
Highland Schools’ Reynolds Oare has been voted the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Coach of the Year in Virginia.
Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association coaches and athletic directors selected Mr. Oare on the heels of his team’s state championship win in Richmond.
Highland’s varsity boys soccer team finished the season with a record of 18-4-2. The Hawks defeated Eastern Mennonite High School, 4-0, in the state championship match.
Highland entered the tournament as the D II fifth seed and upset three opponents: fourth-seeded Trinity at Meadowview, top-seeded North Cross School and second-seeded EMHS. The victory gave Highland its 12th state athletic championship, the second under Coach Oare and the fourth overall for the boys soccer program.
“I am truly blessed to coach incredibly gifted student-athletes every year,” Mr. Oare said. “The players on the 2015 Highland boys soccer team deserve all the credit for doing whatever it took to win a state championship.
They did everything that was asked of them, and acted in a way that earned the respect of every program across the state. That is the greatest honor a team can give to its coach, and for that, I thank them.”
Highland Athletic Director Gary Leake said: “The path to this state championship actually started after last year’s state championship loss to North Cross. Coach Oare and his team prepared hard during the off-season and they were determined to redeem their loss through hard work, positive team chemistry and teamwork. I am incredibly proud of this accomplishment.”
Mr. Oare graduated in 2003 from Highland soccer team as well, graduating in 2003.
“As a player in the late ’90s, I could have never imagined I would someday take over this program, which began to flourish long before I became the coach,” he said. “I am so grateful for the opportunity and support provided to me by (Head of School) Hank Berg, Gary Leake and the Highland community, as well as for my family for always encouraging me throughout the process.
“Additionally, none of this would have been possible without my coaching staff, which includes but is not limited to two very close friends in Ronnie Ross and Mark Miller (also an alum and former teammate). They are knowledgeable, hard-working, and respected by all the players.”
Mr. Berg added: “It’s great to have our alumni return and help us continue to carry out our mission. Reynolds’ dedication to his players and the game of soccer is a tremendous addition to our program.”