Alegra Yager, left, head girls soccer coach at Moffat County High School, has a new right-hand man. Dave Rodriguez has been named assistant coach. He made the jump from girls U-14 soccer to the high school level.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Alegra Yager, left, head girls soccer coach at Moffat County High School, has a new right-hand man. Dave Rodriguez has been named assistant coach. He made the jump from girls U-14 soccer to the high school level.

A new dawn

Dave Rodriguez named Moffat County High School girls assistant soccer coach

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In the minds of Alegra Yager and Dave Rodriguez, 10-2 plus 1-11 equals a state title.

Rodriguez was hired Monday as the new Moffat County High School assistant girls soccer coach, replacing the departed Seth Young.

Rodriguez has been the lead assistant for Craig's U-14 (under 14 years old) soccer team the past two seasons. His teams have a combined 20-4 record (back-to-back 10-2 seasons) during that span.

Yager endured a 1-11 season in her first year at the helm, and bringing in someone with Rodriguez's winning percentage is exactly what she's after.

"I asked him (Dave) if he would come help the team," Yager said. "He has a lot of experience with the younger girls that are coming up to the high school level next season. He's a perfect fit."

MCHS lost six seniors to graduation, but six girls from the U-14 team will make the leap to the secondary level next spring.

"I know the girls that are returning," Yager said. "and he knows the girls that are coming up. I expect the new girls and the old girls to mesh well."

The duo said many changes will come from the changes at the top.

A new offense will be installed and discipline will be at the forefront.

"We are both going to demand more discipline from the team," Rodriguez said. "The days of just playing a little kick ball for fun are gone. Kids are like sponges. We want them to absorb a winning mentality."

And the duo wants them to pick it up quick.

Each predicted a 7-5 record next season; Rodriguez went so far as to predict a state championship in four years.

"We have a four-year plan," he said. "We are going to be a lot more creative and demand more from the girls. That's what we intend to build on."

Rodriguez said he will miss being on the sidelines of the U-14 games, but he's looking forward to the next step. The experience taught to him by Harry Tripp - U-14 head coach - helped him advance to the high school level.

"I owe Harry a lot for giving me the opportunity," he said.

"I'm very grateful for all he's done for me.

Earlier in the season, Yager said the U-14 program is like a "feeder program for the high school."

Rodriguez's promotion, Yager said, with the advancement of some of his team, could be the extra gear she is looking for.

"I am looking forward to working with Dave," she said. "Now the expectations are going way up. Together, with some support from the community, there is no reason for us not to turn things around in Bulldog girls soccer."

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com.

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