Coach of the Year, awarded to Kelsey Birkhofer


Emina Hergic, Writer

Centennial girl’s head Soccer Coach, Kelsey Birkhofer has recently been nominated Coach of the Year by fellow Mt. Hood coaches. Here’s the latest update.

Birkohfer said she was honored to have been voted coach of the year. “I was surprised because typically the coach of the team that finishes first in the league gets voted coach of the year.” Impressively though, the team finished 3rd in league and made state playoffs. According to Birkhofer, the girls are more than dedicated and determined.

Even in the face of adversity, she said the team did a great job being competitive and exceeded expectations this season. The team’s toughest competition this year was Barlow. They finished first in our conference, and both teams tied 1-1. While there are many components in consonance with playing a sport, Birkhofer believes the most prominent one is trust.

“I think trust is a huge component. Trusting your teammates, knowing that your teammates are doing their job or are in the right spot frees you up to give your all to do your job/assignment. You can give 100% effort and focus without trying to do too much. Our team motto is never let your teammate down.”

Her approach when a team is struggling is to remain positive and remind them that each game is a new opportunity to play best, compete, and continue to improve as a team. “Remaining positive and forward thinking allows the players to play their best in the moment.” Birkhofer said.

She enjoys being a part of the girl’s journeys and helping them grow through athletics. Most of all, she loves the relationship she gets to make with the girls, and is beyond proud of their accomplishments.
“I had so many players that played exceptionally this season but Cassidy Belmont was the backbone of our play this season. Marlene Gonzalez controlled the midfield and led our team in assists. Alexi Howard and Lize Rendon were our main offense threat every game, who both led our team in goals. Our defense was the strongest part of our team with Lauren Dunford, Keara Saks, Emily Teyema and Zoi Hicks holding it down in the back.” Birkhofer said.

Although the season kicked off quickly, Birkhofer said, “I was extremely proud of what the team had accomplished. So sad that it had come to an end with a very special group of girls and a very special season.” Beyond a shadow of doubt, the team did an amazing job this year. It could not have been entirely possible without their diligent coach, Kelsey Birkhofer who led the team to their victories.