Home Sports Local Sports Losing to Clovis could signal end of coach’s career

Losing to Clovis could signal end of coach’s career

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Roswell coach James Vernon walks the sideline as his team gives up two goals in a 2-1 loss to Clovis at Cielo Grande Soccer Complex Tuesday. (J.T. Keith Photo)

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Roswell’s soccer coach James Vernon knew at the beginning of the season that this was his last as the head man — the soccer coach at RHS. Vernon wanted one more run at a district title — one more shot at state and to have a chance to hoist the Blue Trophy as he has done before. With over 200 wins on a Hall of Fame résumé for coaching boys soccer in New Mexico, this is not how he wanted to end the season at home. Their next three games are on the road.

Just as the season has gone, there has been an injury here, a mistake there and on Tuesday night at Cielo Grande Soccer Complex — where lighting strikes delayed the game for 30 minutes — his team came out in the second half and scored on a goal by freshman Bruno Ramos with 38:50 to play in the second half to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.

It looked sure to hold up until Clovis came back and scored two goals to push back the upset-minded Coyotes 2-1. With three games left in the season and Vernon in his career, he could be heard muttering, “Just two mistakes is all.”

“You know, we had two mistakes,” Vernon said. “Two mistakes cost us. I thought we played well against them, I thought, we — they like to pressure us a lot to the midfield and don’t like to give it up, but if we make that pass to our forward, he collects and turns and he breaks off from there. We had chances and we gave them two chances. We just gave it away.”

Vernon feels like his team is very talented, and doesn’t feel like they should have lost the games they have lost this season. One of the biggest problems Vernon feels like with this team is they have not come out and taken control of games or finished like he would like his team to finish.

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“It has been a tough year with injuries,” Vernon said. “We are trying to build, and get these guys more experience. Last year, we lost quite a bit of seniors and this year we have eight. This being my last year, it has just been a rocky road of ups and downs.”

Vernon is the principal at Berrendo and cannot coach and hold an administrative position at the same time. He was allowed to coach this year because it was so late in the season when he was hired for the job at Berrendo and the Roswell Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy did not think it was fair for his players to have to adjust to a new coach.

When RISD Athletic Director Britt Cooper was asked for comment, Cooper reiterated that the season is still going on with two weeks left in it, and he had no comment until after the season is over with and it is official.

Roswell (9-7-1) plays at 6 p.m. on Oct. 16 at Hobbs.