2018-10-10 / Sports

Downsville Soccer Coach Burt Reed Earns 200th Win

By Rosie Cunningham

Downsville Soccer Coach Burt Reed and his team. 
Contributed Photo Downsville Soccer Coach Burt Reed and his team. Contributed Photo DOWNSVILLE - The Downsville Central School girls varsity coach hit a career milestone this week - his 200th win as a coach for the Eagles.

Burt Reed began his career fresh out of college at the age of 23, 16 years ago. He credits the DCS board of 2003 and Bob Mackey for the opportunity.

He reminisced about the first game he ever coached at Gilbertsville Mount-Upton against the defending state champions, Mcgraw.

“I was definitely nervous,” he recalled. “The ref blew the whistle for the kick off and the girl shoots from half and scored over Monica Nuzzo, who was a freshman goal keeper. I turned to the bench and said, ‘welcome to Varsity soccer girls.’ As for my first win, I just remember feeling relieved. We had lost our first six games and the girls were really starting to wonder if I knew what I was doing. After that win, we won 10 games in a row.”

Reed said over the years, the thing that has changed the most is coaching.

“You have to change your coaching style to fit what’s best for your team,” he said. “Some years you have burners and have to play more direct, other years you have highly skilled players and you can play more possession. You know I hear fans say that the players have changed and maybe their top priorities have, but overall we have fun every day and work hard.”

Reed discussed what he loves about coaching soccer and how it felt to earn his 200th career win.

“I love working with young student athletes,” he said. “They have so much fun and work really hard. I would not enjoy coaching if I could not relate to my athletes on a personal level. I love being part of a team. The ability to succeed and improve over time along with the comradery it brings makes coaching such a wonderful experience for me. At the end of the day, I want the girls to want to come back and say, ‘Hi, coach! How have you been?’ I want to be a positive influence in their lives. It’s always fun to win and I have been very fortunate in that area. However, I hope that I have impacted their lives more on a individual than with the record of that year. As for winning my 200th I personally feel it means that I have been coaching for a long time. I would describe my career so far in Downsville as very successful and fun. I’ve been very fortunate to have had some great teams and great individual players over the last 16 years.”

Reed said some of the memorable moments throughout the years include his first sectional game and getting a red card against Laurens, Kaileen Townsend and Stephanie Shellman scoring their 100th goals and any tough sectional loss especially the battles I used to have with Charlotte Valley Coach Ray Preston.

“But, the best memory would be the 2005 season when we went undefeated and won the state championship,” he said. “I still get goose bumps thinking about that run. Those high pressure games we played to get to the finals, and the feeling of joy and relief after the final whistle blew resulting in a 2-0 win for the State Championship.”

Reed said as for coaching mentors, his former soccer coach Scott Reed was a standout.

“I saw the sacrifice and dedication he put into the boys program when I played. I used a lot of the drills that we did in practice when I started. Mr. Jeff Baier taught me to pay attention to the details, they matter. He also taught me to organize and have your practice planned out so no time was wasted. Besides that, three major influences in what I want my program to emulate are Ray Preston, Pete Palen and Bobby VanValkenburgh. Each one did something for me along the way. Ray brought the best out of my competitive side. I wanted nothing more than to compete against him and his girls. When I started, he was the pinnacle of the girls’ league and his win total shows that. Pete Palen because he gave me drills and showed me different ways to approach the game. Bobby VanValkenburgh because he is a class act. After we won the state title, Bobby sent me a fax congratulating me on the win and at that point, he had not won a state title yet. It really meant a lot to me and showed me the comradery that is in the coaching ranks. Plus, all three ran super successful programs.”

Reed said there are many thanks for the support over the years.

“The parents and the fans for supporting the program ,” he said. “My players, who I can’t thank you enough for the hard work, dedication, and effort they gave me at DCS. Thank you to Goldie Mills for always doing my books over the last 16 years. Also, Terry Townsend and Dick Reed for being my assistant coaches and keeping me in line when I needed it. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank my wife Shellie Reed and my kids Madison, Tyler and Landen for letting me continue to coach and do what I love. I know it is a sacrifice and time spent away from each other and I truly appreciate it so much.”

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