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AS A FRESH FACE IN THE WARRIORS ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT, NEW BOYS' SOCCER HEAD COACH CHRIS WHITE IS READY TO TAKE TWCA TO NEW HEIGHTS ON THE PITCH.
White has been around soccer his entire life. He first started playing in 1994 when he and his family moved to the United States. He eventually played a few years of club soccer at the University of Houston after injuries derailed his college career, but he couldn't stay away from the game."
I began my coaching career as an assistant coach with my father at Northeast Christian Academy," White said. "I worked multiple jobs before realizing that my real passion was in fact coaching."
White landed at St. Thomas Episcopal and started to work his way up the ladder until he was the school's soccer director. He spent eight years at STE before another opportunity presented itself to him — the head coaching spot at TWCA.
Family has always been a core value for White, and with his family — including a two-year old daughter and a baby on the way — already living in Spring, this opportunity was too good to pass up.
Now, the challenge that faces White is to bring the championship pedigree to TWCA that he built at STE, where he won over 80-percent of games played, went to seven Final Fours and won three championships in his eight years.
But first, he needs to get to know TWCA.
"Since arriving, my biggest challenge has been getting to know the kids at a level that I had with my old team," White said. "Obviously, being with a program for eight years you get to know kids, families, parents. You know how to push them and when you should stop. You know how certain kids respond to different styles of coaching. Over time, I will be able to figure it out and understand the kids at a different level, it's just a challenge right now."
The next step for White is to get the entire program to buy-in to the culture and coaching philosophy he and his staff bring to the table.
"Hard work beats talent that fails to work hard," he said. "That is what we are going to bring to TWCA."
"Every year we want to strive for a district championship and a long run in the playoffs," White added. "In soccer, anything is possible."
Long term, White wants to build TWCA into a perennial state championship contender.
"In five years, we should be competing for a state championship on a yearly basis and be recognized for that around the state," he said.
To do that, White knows that he needs to build a strong foundation throughout the entire school.
Luckily, he's in a perfect position to do that.
In addition to his coaching role, White is also the director of Warrior Leagues — an after-school program for 1st-4th graders to learn the basics of different sports.
"Coming from a school which had a youth soccer program, Warrior Leagues will be huge for TWCA at all levels," White said. "Young athletes getting an opportunity to work with high school coaches who could possibly coach them later at that level is a big advantage.
When I was at STE, I had kids come through the youth program who already understood my playing and coaching style, and that's huge."
For this season, it's all about buy-in.
"Being that I have only been around for a few weeks and haven't gotten a real chance to get to know my team yet," White said.
"I do know that if the seniors buy into the culture change that anything can happen. On and off the field the seniors need to be the leaders and not the followers. If they buy into our philosophy, we have the possibility to have a very successful year and do something special."
FEARLESS ON THE FIELD. PLAYMAKER. DISTRIBUTOR.
These are the words that The Woodlands Christian Academy girls soccer coach Paige Riley uses to describe senior center-mid Lindsay Worthington, who continues to make history for the Warriors program.
In August, Worthington verbally committed to Samford to continue her playing career and becoming the first ever girls soccer player from TWCA to head to the next level.
"It's really exciting," Worthington said. "It's definitely rewarding because I've been playing soccer for almost 14 years. So, it's nice to know that I'll be able to go to the next level."
Riley added: "They are going to get a utility player. That girl can play any position as equal as the next. She is someone to be feared. She is a substantial player; she plays like it is a dance. It's just very natural for her."
It was in her freshman year, which was actually the first year of the TWCA girls soccer program, that Worthington realized she wanted to pursue a college career.
"I started working harder and that's when I felt like I had a chance at this," she said.
Going all-in on her soccer career four years ago has paid off for her and the program itself. Last year – the first full varsity season for the team – they went undefeated in district play and won their first-ever District Championship.
Being at TWCA for four years and helping build the program to where it is, is special, Worthington said but overall The Woodlands Christian Academy is special to her heart.
"It's a big family," Worthington said. "Everybody is so supportive, and the teachers always come out to your games. I just like the community of it.