Interview guests Ryan Hart and Michael Ortiz share with me their hope for the San Pedro High School Boys soccer team as they take on their first year as Co-Coaches.
EPISODE DATE: 11/8/2018
Michael and Ryan have both grown up together in San Pedro and even attended the same schools since Jr. High. Michael grew up on a military base off of 25th Street and surprisingly never left during his primary school years. He later joined the military himself and is now living with his wife at Fort Macarthur here in San Pedro. Ryan shared how their group of friends always kind of prepared themselves for Michael's eventual move but it never happened.
How Michael's military background influences his coaching style:
"It improved me. It helped me understand the importance of having a structure... When I say something at practice, that we're going to do it, we need to do it. " - Michael Ortiz
His wife was present for the interview and I put them on the spot a little by asking what it was like for him to marry his high school sweet heart, something he mentions being really proud of. He shares how he was heavily involved with sports growing up and was a natural athlete early on, often putting minimum effort into his academics just to ensure he had his spot on the team. Michael went to Pedro high and made the soccer team every year.
Ryan's experience of growing up in San Pedro:
Ryan describes himself as a "late bloomer", not figuring himself out until way later in his high school years. He didn't make the soccer team at Pedro until his senior year, which he feels puts himself in a unique position to inspire kids to don't make the cut the first time, because he didn't either. He went on to get his business degree from the University of Michigan and now lives locally in Redondo Beach.
What they're doing to invest in the players that don't make the team:
"We're reaching out to all the parents and inviting their kids to, what we're calling a 'coaching clinic' and so all the kids that didn't make the team will probably just stay after practice one day... it's helpful to them, its helpful to us because when they come back next year they'll be better and that's in the best interest of everybody ."
- Ryan Hart
Not only do they invest in the players that don't make the team but they also make sure that the players on the team that struggle with keeping their grades up, get the help they need. They've partnered with the local Boys and Girls Club to create a space for players that need extra help with their academics.
Why their roles are important:
To understand why their roles as the current co-coaches for the SPHS boys soccer team are so important you have to understand the role and reputation of former SPHS boys soccer coach of eight years, Pete Hazdovac. From how Ryan and Michael describe him, he was not only an amazing coach that invested in his players but also a community leader. He with the help of Ryan and Michael, led the boys to victory last year as they won the Division 4 City Title. Now, the coaches are not only trying to build upon that success but also hope to carry on Pete's legacy.
SPHS Boys Soccer Merch Promotion
Siren's Java & Tea