Weekly Feature

2017-11-09 / Sports

EA’s Beale named Boys Coach of the Year


East Aurora has been a dominating force in boys soccer for decades, but Kevin Beale — the 2017 All-Bee Boys Soccer Coach of the Year — said it is a testament to the East Aurora community that begins with the Town of Aurora Arsenal youth soccer program.

“All of these kids started with the Arsenal program,” Beale said. “The coaches do a great job with developing the players. If the kids are good enough, the club promotes the players to a higher-level club. They do not hold back players and do what is best for them. I’m lucky to be a part of such a great soccer community.”

The love for the sport in the community has resulted in outstanding success for East Aurora’s soccer program. Since Beale became coach at East Aurora in 1997, his teams have won 11 section titles, eight overall section titles — five in Class B, three in Class A — and made appearances in the Class B state final in 2008 and 2015. This season, Beale recorded his 300th coaching win and finished his 21st year with 316 career wins.

East Aurora also became the winningest boys soccer program in Section VI history with 599 wins, surpassing Amherst’s win total of 584.

“It’s been an unbelievable 21 years,” Beale said. “I’ve been around great families. They always say great players make great plays and I have had plenty of great players.”

Beale also credits a number of assistant coaches, including Dave Coulter, Jesse Hamms and current JV coach Mike Schermerhorn, as well as leadership from the school from athletic director Matt Librock.

Beale does his best to keep up with the current coaching trends, attending soccer clinics and conventions.

“Whether it is about strategy or putting the players in the right mentality, so much goes on every year with each team with how we should play and attack,” Beale said. “We have tried to play good soccer first and want to be respectful. I think this year we had one card. In tight games, the kids are mentally strong. It’s a reflection from coming from great families.”

East Aurora’s mental toughness was on display against Grand Island in the Section VI Class A final Nov. 1. Trailing 4-3 with 29.7 seconds left, Pat Phillips scored the game-tying goal with 12.7 seconds left and Jack Bean scored the game-winning goal 12 minutes into overtime.

“When Grand Island scored with 30 seconds left, that is like losing in overtime,” Beale said. “The kids were down and I was ready to give the “team huddle, end-of-the year, special group of kids talk,” and to finish like the way they did made it an instant classic.”

East Aurora’s season ended with a 3-1 loss to Section V Pittsford-Sutherland in Friday’s Class A Far West Regional. The Blue Devils finished with a 20-1 record.

Prior to getting the job with East Aurora, Beale played midfield at St. Francis and Canisius College, coached modified soccer for a few years at Kenmore West and was JV boys coach for six years at Orchard Park.

email: pnagy@beenews.com

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