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
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
“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.