by: Britney Morgan
Under the leadership of Coach Anelone Hilaire along with his assistant coaches Cary Nelson and Ariel Martinez, the Maynard Jackson girls’ soccer team has had a dominant season thus far. With a winning record of 7-1, they are gearing up for the region playoffs as the #2 seed. They will host the first round of the Region 4-AAA playoffs against Decatur High School, Thursday, March 26, 2015.
Originally from the Ivory Coast, Coach Hilaire grew up playing soccer. In his first year working at APS, he volunteered to coach boys soccer at Crim High School and won the APS Championship.
“Soccer is a passion for me and one of my favorite hobbies,” said Hilaire.
Coach Hilaire is confident in his team’s talent especially with the growth of soccer in the U.S. He believes there is even the potential to join the U.S. National Team. “I will not be surprised to see some of them on the U.S. National Team in the near future,” said Coach Hilaire.
The players expressed so much gratitude. Olivia Phillips and Doris Smith said that their team is like a family and they are happy and thankful to have Coaches Hilaire, Nelson and Martinez guiding them.
Coach Hilaire said that soccer is a sport that not only teaches physical skills but also gives the opportunity for youth to be part of a team. “During practice sessions, I emphasize life skills such as comradery, friendship and sportsmanship,” said Hilaire.
Maynard Jackson’s Lady Jags soccer has team never qualified for the state playoffs. Only four teams from the region will have the opportunity to compete. A victory over Decatur on Thursday will ensure the Lady Jags a spot in the state playoffs, making it the first time in the school’s history.
For more information about Atlanta Public Schools athletics visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/athletics/.