Knights girls soccer taps teacher as new coach

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  • | 10:58 a.m. October 9, 2014
Knights girls soccer taps teacher as new coach
Knights girls soccer taps teacher as new coach
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Raymundo Mota, right, the new girls soccer coach for Ocoee High School, is excited to lead the team, which will include freshman goalkeeper Kensie Thomas.
OCOEE — The girls soccer program at Ocoee High School will have a new coach at the helm when it takes the field for the first time this season.

Athletic Director Steven McHale announced Sept. 22 the hiring of Raymundo Mota to lead the program. Mota, a Spanish teacher at the school since its opening in 2005, will be charged with leading a program that went 11-7-2 a season ago and was defeated by Dr. Phillips in the Class 5A District 4 Tournament.

“I’m very excited,” Mota said. “These kids are extremely talented — not just on the soccer field but also (off the field). 

“They’re great students,” he said. “I look forward to being part of it and to contributing as much as possible.”

Mota brings a strong background in the game to the program. The native of the Dominican Republic came to America at age 15 before playing collegiately for Hunter College in New York City. After his playing career ended, he began his coaching career at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, where he stayed for eight years before coming to Florida.

Although Mota has had no formal association with the program as a coach previously, he has had many of the team’s current and former players in the classroom as students — something he thinks will be a benefit.

“The kids respond to you a lot easier, because they know you,” Mota said.

One of his students, freshman Kensie Thomas, figures to compete for the starting job at goalkeeper.

“It’s pretty awesome — he’s a really cool teacher, and I’m going to enjoy soccer season,” Thomas said of Mota’s hiring. “It’s easy to connect with him as a coach and a teacher.”

The Knights are set to start their 2014-15 winter season on Nov. 3, at Cypress Creek, according to Again competing in Class 5A District 4, Ocoee will try and unseat last year’s champion, Apopka, or runner-up, West Orange.

The first date that teams were able to practice for the season was Monday, Oct. 6, per the FHSAA.

Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].


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