There has been a “changing of the guard” in the head coaching position for one of the premier athletic programs at The Brook Hill School, as the reins of the Lady Guard varsity soccer team have been handed down to new head coach Becky Knight.
“I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity and to continue on in leading a successful program,” said Knight. “I hope to continue what our previous head coach has started and done an excellent job with. The program has been well established and we have a great future ahead of us. We have an excellent group of athletes who strive to do their best in each and every game. I’m excited to step in and carry this tradition of Lady Guard soccer forward.”
For the past three seasons, Knight has been able to work with the Lady Guard soccer program as an assistant coach under head coach David Collins, who has served as both of the Brook Hill boys and girls soccer programs’ head coach.
With Knight becoming the head coach for the Lady Guard, Collins, who was the first head coach in the girls soccer team’s history, will now focus his time on the Guard soccer program.
“Under Coach Collins, I’ve been able to see how he does things up close,” said Knight. “I really hope I’ll be able to carry on some of the great things I’ve seen. He did a great job with the girls team; he has instilled the ideas of hard work, dedication, and how to have a good time. He was a great head coach for the program, and I’m glad he’s still around and that we’ll be able to work together as head coaches for Brook Hill soccer.”
Despite its short history, the Brook Hill girls soccer program has experienced a strong showing of success, advancing to the TAPPS State Semi-Finals in 2012, followed by back-to-back TAPPS State Championship seasons in 2013 and 2014. The program has also earned two TAPPS District Championships during its existence.
As the second head coach in Lady Guard soccer history, Knight said she aspires to continue the program in the direction Collins has led it to, including emphasizing hard work and strong finishes.
“I hope to bring a lot of the values and desires that Coach Collins would have back to the program,” said Knight. “We share a lot of the same passions and desires, as far as soccer goes, and I believe it will be an easy transition for the girls and the program. I want to continue to push them towards excellence, both on and off the field. We’re going to work hard, play hard, and finish strong, whether that means we win or lose; that’s going to be our motto.”
In terms of her philosophy of coaching the sport of soccer, Knight desires to see a high level of commitment from her players, helping to mold the athletes into soccer stars, as well as respectable young Christian women.
“I’m all about hard work, dedication, and commitment,” said Knight. “My time with the girls, I want to help them as soccer players and as young women. My outlook on the game of soccer is obviously to be the best team we can be and win games, but also, my outlook is to do life with these girls, coach them, and help them in life.”
In the team’s 2017-2018 pre-district schedule, the Lady Guard varsity soccer team will face off against strong competition from teams such as Irving Highlands, Dallas Covenant, Sabine, and Louisiana School, while also competing in the Tyler TNT Tournament.
Afterwards, the team will march their way into the district schedule, taking on the usual local TAPPS teams representing Bishop T.K. Gorman, Grace Community, and All Saints Episcopal twice each.
“I told the girls that since our pre-district schedule is short this year, we’ve got to get the work done during our practices,” said Knight. “That way when we get on the field, we’re at full force, executing plays and developing our offensive and defensive schemes in order to work out the kinks before district starts. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to compete in our district because there are a lot of strong teams. We’re going to have to be at the top of our game every single time we play them.”
Knight is a graduate of Lakeview Christian School in Auburn, Ala. After high school, she attended Auburn University, graduating in 2011 and began working at Brook Hill in 2014. She has also served as an assistant coach for the lady Guard volleyball team and Assistant to the Athletic Director.
“We’re very excited to have Becky as the head coach of the Lady Guard soccer program,” said Wally Dawkins, Brook Hill athletic director. “She has been a part of my coaching staff and office for several years. When she came to Brook Hill, one of her strong points is that she had a history with the game of soccer. She has served well as the program’s assistant coach under David Collins for a number of years. Not only is she smart about soccer, but she brings a lot to our girls, such as a great relationship and serving as a mentor. She’s very enthusiastic about soccer. When you combine all of that together, we knew we had the right person for the job already on our staff. I’m excited to see what the future holds for the girls soccer program with Becky at the helm.”
As of publication deadline, Knight and the Lady Guard varsity soccer team have claimed victory in her coaching debut, defeating the Irving Highlands Lady Blazers, 4-2, Friday, Dec. 1 at Irving Highlands.