COVINGTON -- Newly named Eastside boys head coach Champ Young played soccer for the Eagles back in 2004, the year he graduated. However, what he called soccer back then is much different as what they play now.
"The level around the area is so much higher than when I was here," Young said. "It's really a cool thing to see. The youth programs are really having as strong influence on this program and they were successful before I got here. They've done a real good job and I hope we can improve on it."
While the game may be the same, the way Eastside plays it is a lot better than when he was here seven years ago. Luckily for Young, his game has gotten better, too.
After leaving Eastside, Young went to Gordon College, where he got bigger and became faster and stronger before moving up to Division II's North Georgia College.
At North Georgia, Young was a graduate assistant and served as the director for coaching for the youth program in Dahlonega.
It was at North Georgia where he gained a lot of the experience he intends to use to take the Eastside boys to the next level in Class AAA, learning the technical and tactical aspects of the game on a higher level.
"I did technical work, make sure that the kids are progressing ands their skills are getting better," Young said. "It was a great learning tool. Tactical would be if the coach wanted to work on something, like we're going to do wide play. We would start implementing that in our smaller sessions then he would bring them in for the big one. Tactical will be once I see them in the spring. That's the game play, the running play, our kind of philosophy we want to incorporate with the way we play."
One important aspect of the game that Young wants to emphasize is to make sure his players are dedicated -- not only to the game, but to themselves as well. One thing that he is going to require from his players is that are disciplined both on and off the field.
"If you're going to be a problem in the classroom, I don't want you," Young said. "I want someone that I can trust and I can lean on. It would be great if we could do some community work (YMCA), I mean why not? I've always viewed it as the game has been good to me, it almost feels selfish that I don't give back to the little kids."
Besides dedication, commitment is also something that Young will look for out of his players. A way that he will use that commitment and dedication is by making sure that they push themselves in the weight room as well as learning everything about the game they can., even if that learning comes from watching television.
"Kids now are much more visual learners. If you watch a game on the highest level, you could learn a ton, as long you know what you're looking for," Young said. "As far as my background, knowing how to train kids technically, that's what I did in college as an assistant. I trained kids technically and tactically. Hopefully, my game knowledge will rub off on them and create higher game IQs. If you're not physically gifted, you better be smart."
If he can get that from his players, he feels that he will be able to set a new standard for Eastside soccer. No longer will making the playoffs be enough. He wants them to apply themselves so that they could hopefully make Eastside a respected program throughout the state.
"It would be easy to say make the playoffs every year. But in my eyes the region is not as strong as it used to be so we should get there every year," Young said. "We want to go further. We've had success, so we shouldn't be content with that. Lets's push forward and see what we could do with it. That to me is going to be a goal every year.
"I want to bring a stronger following. More than just parents and some of the girlfriends."