The Paper photo by Lori Poteet <br>
Maddie Burton will lead the Mountie girls soccer team in the 2016 season.
The Paper photo by Lori Poteet
Maddie Burton will lead the Mountie girls soccer team in the 2016 season.

NEW MARKET – Consistency is key for Maddie Burton.

Burton is the first-year Southmont girls soccer head coach and also played for Southmont from 2007 to 2011. She had three different head coaches during her four years there.

A big reason she stepped into the head coaching position this year was that she wanted to keep some consistency for the team.

“With three coaches, it can be hard because each coach comes in with different expectations,” she said of her experience in high school.

The current Mountie seniors on the team have played under three different coaches as well now. However, Burton is familiar with their style.

Burton was the assistant under Coach Julia Pierce last year. The team went 9-7 and had a Sagamore Conference record of 3-5.

“They know what to expect from me and they are familiar with me so it was an easier transition for both of us,” Burton said.

She said she knows how the girls like to be coached.

“It was a huge help transitioning from last year when I had more of a backseat role and I got to observe,” Burton said. “I feel like I can understand them so much more because I got to observe so much last year.”

Burton has coached all ages from boys and girls club teams to Southmont’s middle school team. This is her fourth year coaching.

“I love working with people and I love pushing them to succeed,” she said.

She has always wanted to coach but wasn’t sure where her nursing degree would take her. She is the school nurse at Ladoga and Walnut Elementary Schools and said the schedule is perfect for coaching.

“I always imagined myself enjoying coaching but it was always dependent to where my job took me,” Burton said.

The job took her right back near her old high school where she has the chance to coach a team she once played for.

When she planned a scavenger hunt for the team this past week, she thought about her time at Southmont.

“I was walking around the school posting some clues and I was just thinking how nice it is because I’m familiar with the people and I know how the whole system works,” she said.

Burton said winning County and Conference are big goals for this year.

“County championships are always awesome,” she said. “We also want to have an approach of winning Conference. We know we have tough opponents ahead of us but winning is definitely on our radar.”

However, Burton has a bigger goal in mind.

“One thing we are hitting hard is that we have high expectations for the girls on and off the soccer field,” she said. “We really want to instill habits in them that are going to allow them to have success and win some games. Then we also want those habits to carry over into the classroom and into the community and when their athletic careers are over, we want them to still utilize what we taught them with whatever they are working for.”

From an assistant to a head coach, Burton said the transition has been good. As an assistant, “it’s really about supporting the head coach and carrying that through as someone who the girls can communicate with,” she said.

“When you have the head coach you get to do more of the delegating,” she continued. “So I’m giving some of these responsibilities that I’m used to having and handing those over to my assistant. And I have great assistants so I’m really excited about that.”

The team kicks off the season under Coach Burton Aug. 16 at home against Cascade.