KCC soccer, historically

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KCC soccer, historically

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“Why do we play soccer?”

“For the glory of God.”

“And what’s my job?”

“To love us.”

“And what’s your job?”

“To love each other.”

Head soccer coach Allan Chugg was asking the questions, the same questions he has been asking for 26 years and counting.

“That’s just a foundational part to what this is about and the rest of it is just an outcome of that,” Chugg said. “We don’t do anything fancy, we just do soccer well.”

Veteran soccer player John Ochs was a senior, playing  midfield when Chugg first became coach in the late 1980s.

“Before Allan came, we had guys who were just coaches. They didn’t understand the game. I remember when I first met him he was different,” Ochs said. “[The program] became a well-organized, coached team by a missionary soccer player from South America.”

Soccer has been slow coming to America compared to the rest of the world. Having grown up playing soccer in Venezuela, Chugg was a part of the committee that originally got soccer to be a state sanctioned sport for Kansas in 1986.

“One interesting fact about KC Christian soccer is that basically, we were one of the first schools to have a soccer team,” Ochs said. “We were definitely ahead of the game with our soccer program.”

In the 80’s, most school were only playing football in the fall.

“When I first came to Kansas to teach, there weren’t that many schools playing [soccer] and the kids that were playing it weren’t very good,” Chugg said. “The kids have really caught on not only in the skill sets but also in understanding the thinking and decision making in soccer.”

The first year Chugg coached, he had no official field to play on, no goals and only five balls to practice with. Half of the players showed up to practice late. By the end of that season, the team finished second in the Tri-State conference. They lost in penalty kicks to Victory Christian from Tulsa, Okla.

“They had beat us 6-0 earlier, and then everyone started believing in what we were doing,” Chugg said. “KCC soccer has a reputation of excellence. Whether we win or lose, it’s been a highly respected program in the state, and not because of wins and losses, but because of the way we play the game.”

Focusing more on the team and less on the scores, the soccer program has kept its roots and continued to grow.

“I think our players are much more talented and soccer-smart than when I played,” veteran soccer player and current Bible teacher Nate Wright said.  “That’s probably the biggest change I’ve witnessed in the KCC program.”

Senior captain Joseph High has been apart of the soccer program for two years.

“We have a strong sense of community within the team,” High said. “[The team] is Christ centered, our goal is to glorify God and love each other.”

Becoming members of the state association in 1994, the soccer program is still fairly young. Competing against 5A and 6A schools hasn’t been easy.

“My first two years were back in the Tri-State Athletics Conference. We competed against other Christian private schools in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. We won two Tri-state championships in a row,” Wright said. “My junior and senior years were KSHAA competition, and we never made it past Regionals.”

KCC is a school set apart, and the soccer program is no different.

“I think the uniqueness of our soccer at KC Christian is our values; we want everybody to love each other and we want that to be very evident,” Chugg said. “Often, I think we don’t have the best players, but we have the best teams.”

Ingraining character, faith and knowledge about the game into the players; Chugg cares more about what the athletes  become than the actual scores they earn.

“It was a pure pleasure to be coached by Allan. He knew what he was doing; he made it enjoyable,” Ochs said.  “I learned a lot, and I still to this day do some of the tricks and different things that he taught us.”

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