Weekend Sports Spotlight: Ashley Head Soccer Coach Greg Marinich

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Our first Weekend Sports Spotlight has us sit down with first year head coach of Ashley soccer Greg Marinich. Marinich, a 28 year military veteran, guided the Screaming Eagles to an 18-0 start and one of the best seasons in program history.

AJ Ricketts: "When you took this job earlier this year, you inherited a team coming off a 10-9 season, a group searching for an identity. What were your first thoughts, your impressions when you accepted this position?"

Greg Marinich: "Well I knew without a doubt that I had inherited a very, very good program from Coach Giles Roberts. He put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this. And I knew there was a great deal of talent that I was also going to inherit. But I knew that I wanted to put my own stamp on it. And I think we did that this year. And I'm very happy with the result."

Ricketts: "Your team rolls through the regular season. Last undefeated team in the area, some close games, a lot of blowouts – what was that period like as a coach? Win after win, and that momentum building up?"

Marinich: "Yea well I'll tell ya, I've never been there as a coach and I don't know that many of my players had. Eighteen and oh, that's a pretty tough thing to deal with. I don't think I want to do that again, but I'll tell ya, it was indicative of the young men on the team and what they wanted to do this year. We had a long, long streak, and it was a great ride."

Ricketts: "You spent 28 years in the service. A career like that, you accumulate a limitless amount of life lessons, and principles. What do you try to carry over as a coach what you learned from that meaningful period of your life?"

Marinich: "Yes sir, well first and foremost, just like the soldiers I led, it's all about grooming these young men to be better citizens, to be the best that they can be, and soccer is just a, just a vehicle we use to do that."

Ricketts: Duenis and Wally Avila. Two brothers that had such an impact for your team this year. They came to the States from Honduras just a couple years ago. What was it like to coach those guys and how much of an impact did they make?

Marinich: "Well you know I had a great team, and these two individuals are great young men. And I give them great credit. You know, three years ago, coming to the United States, didn't speak English at all, and they're living the American dream right now, it's a wonderful thing. Duenis wants to be a pilot in the air force, and Wally wants to go to college and play ball, and so we're going to try to make those dreams come true.

Copyright 2015 WECT. All rights reserved.