With a new coach, new players, and a new vision, the Linfield men’s soccer team is prepping for a fresh start next season.
For the past five seasons, the team has been led by coach Ian Lefebvre.
Following this past season, a new head coach, Chuck Bechtol was hired.
Bechtol has spent the last four years coaching boys soccer at McMinnville High School, where he led the boys to Pacific Conference titles for the past three seasons.
He has been honored as Pacific Conference Coach of the Year three times.
Bechtol, a Linfield alum, was a four-year soccer letter-winner from 1988 until 1991. He was a first team all-conference midfielder as a senior in 1991 and received All-Conference honorable mention in 1989.
For this new season Bechtol plans to take the team in a new direction. He looks forward to seeing the team improve every day and beginning to build a new program. He hopes to see improvements in all areas of play.
Senior Kyle Brouse has played with the team since transferring to Linfield his sophomore year.
Despite a frustrating season this past year, Brouse has enjoyed playing with Wildcats.
”The highlight for me was being able to travel with the team, as well as, get to meet people from all over,” he said.
Brouse said he’s enjoyed the close community that Linfield has to offer both on campus and in sports.
“It made each athlete feel a part of one big team in the athletic department and on campus,” Brouse said.
Freshman Emerson North looks forward to returning next season.
Bechtol has already had the chance to work with the team in spring training.
North is impressed so far with Bechtol’s coaching style.
“He’s a really good coach. He knows how to talk to us during practice, and he’s good at talking to us individually,” North said.
Bechtol’s coaching style is different from former coach Lefebvre, but North said the team has already begun to see improvements.
Personally, North hopes to improve with his left foot, and overall play.
He said he’s greatly enjoyed his time with the Wildcats.
“Even though we had a rough season last year, it’s been a great experience so far,” North said.
The team finished with spring training this past Friday. It will be returning to the field for pre-season training in late August.
Caleb Goad/Staff writer
Caleb Goad can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.