Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Sports

Allen Ware returns to coaching with Newsome soccer

LITHIA

Allen Ware tried to leave the game before.

After a successful playing career at Armwood, Ware quit playing competitive soccer and attended Florida State. He dabbled in club, but had long since hung up his boots when he ran into one of his former Armwood teachers.

"Her husband, Santiago Molina, coached high school up there and we started talking and he asked me to come out and help," Ware said. "I didn't realize how much I missed it."

So Ware found his passion again, graduating from FSU in 1993 and returning to the area to coach the Plant City boys and girls teams over the next three years. Then in 1996, the Brandon boys job opened up.

"So I took it," Ware said. "And it turned into 15 years."

Ware became one of the most respected coaches in area soccer circles, leading Brandon to a 23-1-2 record and a state title in 2003.

"It was a great year because those seniors knew what they wanted to do from the start," Ware said. "They told all the seniors to not buy class rings because they would get state ones. They were confident, without being cocky."

But 2010 rolled around and Ware found himself dealing with issues off the field.

"I was going through some personal things," he said. "I felt like I needed a change and I thought (the program) would do well with someone else coming in."

Again Ware found himself on the outside of the game looking in. And again, Ware couldn't stay away long.

"The job opened up at Newsome, and for this side of the county, it's a great position," he said. "I couldn't turn it down."

Ware replaced Neil Rickmers, who coached the Wolves for the past three seasons. Senior Riley McChesney said that the two have different coaching styles.

"I love coach (Rickmers) and he was a great guy to talk to who could relate to all of us," "Coach (Ware) is a lot more straightforward and technical."

McChesney also said that despite the fact this group of seniors had exclusively dealt with Rickmers, the change in head coaches was welcome.

"This is nothing against coach (Rickmers) because we all really liked him, but we had a disappointing year last year," he said. "It's a refreshing change and new start for us."

So far the results have been positive for the Wolves. Newsome is off to a 4-2 start, with its two losses coming against area powerhouses Steinbrenner and Jesuit.

"Right now the only person whose spot is secure is Ajay Sequiera," Ware said. "Other than that we are tinkering with things. But attacking is the strength of our team for sure."

Sequiera has been on fire for the Wolves, notching 12 goals in their first six matches. The senior forward has scored a hat trick against Berkeley Prep and Gaither and posted five goals against Riverview last Wednesday. Sophomore Eric Lint is Sequiera's striking partner up top of the Wolves base 4-4-2 formation.

"Ajay has a nose for the goal and is just fearless," Ware said. "Eric is proving to be a very nice complement to him up top."

Although Ware is still figuring out the correct mix for the Wolves, Newsome will have its hands full reaching the playoffs in a district featuring Plant, Bloomingdale and Wharton, a team coached by his brother Scott.

"I really missed coaching high school because I teach and I get to see the kids every day," Ware said. "In club you don't have them as much, so it's great to be back."

Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected]

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