Spencer Call knows the Tooele County soccer landscape as well as anybody.
A graduate of Tooele High School, he was a member of the only county soccer team ever to win a high school state title when the Buffaloes won it all in 1997. He has served as a youth coach with Stansbury Park-based Elite FC, as well as an assistant coach under Tooele head coach Stephen Duggan and Stansbury High boys coach Jacob Jones.
Now, it’s Call’s turn to be the one in charge. On Monday, Call held his first official practice as the head coach of the Stansbury girls soccer program, an opportunity he has sought for a long time.
“I’m very excited,” Call said. “I’ve been looking forward to this ever since they told me I got the job in May. There’s been a lot of build-up to it. I’ve been an assistant coach for seven years, so I’m looking forward to kind of implementing my own ideas and mixing in what I’ve learned from all the other good coaches that I’ve coached under.
“I’m appreciative of the opportunity that principal (Gailynn) Warr and athletic director (Trever) Wilson have given me. Coach (Jeremy) Alverson and (assistant) coach Derrick Jones — they’ve built a great program over the past eight years and they’ve had a lot of success, and I believe that we have the talent and the coaching staff to take it to the next level.”
Call takes over the Stallions this season after longtime head coach Alverson stepped down to take the helm for the SHS boys golf team this fall. He is stepping into a program that has a long history of winning, and he hopes to continue that tradition with a young, talented group in 2019.
“I know a lot of the freshmen and sophomores really well,” Call said. “I’ve coached locally for my younger daughter’s team for 5-6 years now, so I’ve kept track of the Stansbury High girls program and the Tooele High girls program and attended a few games for both of them over the years. There’s a lot of talent here in this area, and there’s a ton of talent on this team. Jeremy (Alverson) left me a very good cupboard of talented players.”
The Stallions return a number of key contributors from a year ago — namely, junior Reagan Didericksen, who led Stansbury with 15 goals and 33 total points in 2018. Goalkeeper Ainsley Thurber also returns after a solid freshman season, while Gracey Hinton, Chloee Corbett, Merissa Redington, Lucy Jones and Bethany Johansen are among those who will play key roles as well.
“There’s a lot of talent there, but we lost a lot of starters from last year,” Call said, noting that the Stallions will play a more defensive-oriented style than they have in years past. “This really is a new team. The one thing I’m excited to see is who steps up to be a new leader. None of them were in leadership roles last year, and in high school sports, that’s what you need — you need leaders.”
Call credited Duggan and Jones for helping to teach him a lot, even though they have vastly different styles of play and coaching methods.
“Under Stephen (Duggan), I learned a lot about discipline — just his approach coming from European soccer,” Call said. “Under Jacob (Jones), I learned a lot about just kind of letting the players have a little freer roam of the game with a more attacking-minded style. They’re both really good coaches in their own right, but they’re so different. They’ve both been successful.”
Stansbury opens the 2019 season Tuesday at Orem. The Stallions’ first home game is Thursday at 3:30 p.m. against Jordan.