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Sarah York is the new head coach for Trojan girls soccer

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Sarah York, new head coach of the New Castle High School girls soccer team, stands in front of the team’s home field, Neal Field, before Wednesday afternoon’s picture-taking session and practice. York is the former Sarah Talbott, who played for four Trojan sectional-winning teams before graduating from NCHS in 2013, wants to bring back the days of sectional titles and more for the Trojan girls soccer program.
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Sarah York (standing in black T-shirt), the new head coach of the New Castle High School girls soccer team, talks to her team during Monday’s first day of practice on the field at Sunnyside School. York, an alumnus of NCHS (Class of 2013), wants to lead the Trojan girls soccer program back to the level of success it had when she played the sport.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

Several individuals who graduate from a certain high school later return to their old stomping grounds to contribute as a high school head coach or assistant coach, and that is true for Sarah York, who is the new girls soccer head coach at New Castle High School.

York, who is the former Sarah Talbott, graduated from NCHS in 2013 after playing four years of girls soccer for the Trojans during a period of great success for the program. New Castle won the sectional championship all four years York was on the team.

Wednesday afternoon, York took some time to talk about herself, her team, and her vision for the New Castle girls soccer program.

“I’m happy to be back home and coach of the girls soccer team,” York said. “After graduating high school here. I went to Indiana State and got my undergraduate degree in social work. Then I went to IU-PUI to work on my graduate degree, and in the second semester of the second year there, I learned about the coaching opportunity here that opened up, so I applied for the job and got it. I’m really excited to get started.”

York is married to NCHS graduate Aaron York and the couple is expecting their first child in early November. Both are now back in New Castle.

“I was born and raised here, and we’re both happy to be back and happy we have jobs with the school system,” York remarked. “I’m the Parker Elementary School counselor and my husband works in IT for the high school.”

Another interesting tidbit of information is that York is a cousin to New Castle Indiana Basketball All-Star Luke Bumbalough, who is now playing men’s college basketball for Ball State University.

“My mother and Luke’s mom are sisters,” York indicated. “I guess athletics are in the blood of our family as we have so many people who have been involved in them. Soccer is in my blood, and that’s why I’m so happy to have this job as soccer coach.”

The high school girls soccer regular season is less than two weeks away, so York’s primary emphasis in the program right now is getting her team ready for the 2019 season. York has been working on this upcoming season since she got the job.

“We’ve had informal practices this summer every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and we have a bunch of dedicated girls who really want to get better and get back to winning championships,” York remarked. “We’re small in numbers right now and don’t have enough girls yet to have a junior varsity team, but this is a great group of girls to work with. There are no problems with egos.”

One of York’s goals as a head coach is getting the Trojans back to the level of those heydays to where they consistently compete for (and win) sectional titles and advance further down the IHSAA tournament trail.

York was asked what this team needs to do to perhaps win a sectional championship her first year as head coach.

“Communication and conditioning,” York replied. “That’s been our primary focus the first few days of practice. We have the talent here. It’s getting them to use that talent as a team and being able to last the full 80 minutes of a game if needed.”

York addressed the issue of a lower number of girls out for the team this season.

“We have about 16 girls right now,” York noted. “We plan to have starters, but will get every girl into the game because of the type of sport this is. We’ll need to do that during the heat and humidity of the early part of the season. We welcome any girl who wants to join us and be a part of our team, whether or not they’ve ever touched a soccer ball.”

York plans to be here for the long haul and expressed her vision for the program.

“After I get our current team to where I want it to be, I want to develop a good feeder system to our program,” York remarked. “I think the number of girls playing youth soccer when I played was much higher than it is now. A good feeder system funnels talent every year into the program. That’s what you need to have to be consistently good year in and year out.”

York was asked about her coaching philosophy and the approach she takes toward her team as coach.

“I would say I’m definitely a hands-on coach,” York stated. “Of course, my condition now (pregnant) prevents me from doing a few things with the team, but after the baby is born in early November, I’ll be out running with the team and performing exercises and drills with them. I don’t ask a player to do something I’m not willing to do. I’m asking the seniors to help lead and guide the younger players, and we have a good group of seniors who have been with the program a long time.”

York is happy to have Neal Field as the home venue.

“Back when I played here, we didn’t have this turf field,” York said. “We played out at Memorial Park and we managed despite its limitations. But it’ll be really nice to play under the lights at home on a hot day, and we host the sectional this year, which will give our girls extra motivation to try and win a sectional championship in front of the home fans.”

New Castle opens the season at home Tuesday, Aug. 20 at Connersville. A full slate of Hoosier Heritage Conference games awaits York and her Trojan team, and that also will be a new experience for York, as New Castle was in the North Central Conference when York played here.

“I have some big plans as coach,” York added. “But in the end, many people evaluate you on how successful you are on the field. I promise fans my teams will play hard and with effort. I want our girls to enjoy playing soccer and do everything they can to win. If other girls see our team out here having fun while competing, perhaps other girls will decide to play soccer, too.”