Kicking it from past to present

New boys varsity soccer coach shares past experiences

Peytan Schulte, Sports Editor

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Sandro DeAngelis.

Some know him as a middle school science teacher; others may remember him as a former kicker for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Still, others may know him as a former player in the Canadian Football League. Starting this year the boys varsity soccer team just knows him as “Coach”.

Last year, coach Bill Cunningham retired from coaching the team. This year, after coaching the JV for 5 years, DeAngelis will be taking over the varsity head coach position.

DeAngelis was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, where he grew up loving the game of football. He arrived in Nebraska with a scholarship to play at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“I got to live my childhood dream. Ever since I was seven or eight years old I wanted to play for the Huskers,” DeAngelis said. “Playing for the Huskers was my dream because they were the dominant program of the 1990’s; they won many National Championships and were constantly in the top three of the country.

DeAngelis has countless memories that will last a lifetime from his days in Lincoln, but two stand apart.

[My greatest memories were] playing in the Rose Bowl National Championship game in 2002 and running out of the tunnel every week at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln,” DeAngelis said.

To continue his football career, he then was recruited to play in the CFL (Canadian Football League). He played for five teams in total: the Calgary Stampeders, the Hamilton Tigercats, the Montreal Alouettes, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In 2008, his team, the Calgary Stampeders,  won the Grey Cup.

“[Playing in the CFL] was just absolutely thrilling. Getting to do something you love so much as your job is just spectacular,” DeAngelis said.

He retired from the CFL in 2013 and came straight to MN to coach JV soccer in 2014. Senior Jack Haury, now a center defensive mid on the boys varsity soccer team, has known DeAngelis since his freshman year.

“He’s the best coach I’ve ever known,” Haury said. “He knows a lot about the game and he’s passing his knowledge on to us.”

Changes had already been underway in the preseason. Head JV coach Shaun Hoover thinks these new additions will lead to more passion on the field.

“We had a summer workout program and then an intense winter program,” Hoover said. “We’re really starting to hold the guys accountable and [DeAngelis] is a great coach to follow coach Cunningham who did so much for the program for 27 years.”

Being involved in college and professional sports changes your expectations for high school sports.

“Having gone through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, he has a good idea of what it takes to become champions and the effort it takes to do everyday things we do,” Hoover said.

Coaching is something DeAngelis does not take lightly. He has a specific plan of how he wants to lead the soccer program.

“Our program’s motto: gentlemen, scholars, champions. The reason I put it in that order is because I’m trying to raise the next generation of husbands, fathers and employees, all while trying to help them develop as great students, and try to win State Championships,” DeAngelis said.

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