Campos gives GVS ‘a better vision’


Melissa Nie

New coach Pablo Campos begins first year as GVS head coach.

Melissa Nie, RubicOnline Editor

After years of being the Head Coach for Girls Varsity Soccer, US History teacher Ben Bollinger Danielson — nicknamed B Dan by students — resigned last spring, bringing a period of transition to the team as they began their search for a new Head Coach.

Senior captain Lauren Osteraas describes the process.

“This year was kind of crazy and hectic, especially for our athletic department,” Osteraas said. “At the end of last season, B Dan told the team that it was his last year and that started the whole search for a new head coach.”

The GVS captains for the 2018-2019 school year — Osteraas, senior Emma Sampson, and senior Tessah Green —  were asked to interview potential candidates.

“We interviewed Tania [Russell], who is now our assistant coach, and we also interviewed this woman named Mary Kay Hussey Sykora,” Osteraas said. “She ended up getting the Head Coach position. She sent us emails towards the end of the summer for what to do to prepare for tryouts and everything. We were all ready to go.”

However, three days before tryouts, Sykora was unfortunately called away for family reasons, leaving the athletic department to find a new Head Coach before the start of the new soccer season.

That’s where current GVS Head Coach Pablo Campos came in.

“I knew Max Lipset, the varsity boys coach. He actually invited me to go and talk to the people here at SPA,” Campos said.

After 15 years of playing professionally, and even winning an MLS Cup in 2009, Campos wanted to give back to young soccer players and the community.

“I started when I was 12,” Campos said. “I got my first contract, and I played in Brazil. Then I went to play in Greece and Sweden, and I came back here to play in the United States. It was awesome. I think it’s always good to share with [the GVS team] my experience and what I learned through all those years I played professionally.”

Osteraas talks about how the transition from Bollinger Danielson to Campos has been.

“We’ve played five games now with Pablo, and after every game, we’ve made adjustments as we go along,” Osteraas said. “His reaction to the games has been a little different from B Dan because in the past, B Dan usually talked to us immediately after the games about what happened. But Pablo’s approach has been a little more passive. I remember after our first school loss, he didn’t discuss the game at all. He hasn’t really yelled at us much. It’s a different style, you know, so it’s an adjustment to that.”

This year was kind of crazy and hectic, especially for our athletic department,”

— Lauren Osteraas

The new season also brings new challenges to the team. With so many seniors graduating last year, Campos is trying to get the team on equal footing.

“They have to work together. They have to understand that they’re all going to be in the same level. And to make them understand that, to make them be on the same page, I think that’s the challenge,” Campos said. “I think my goal was to make them organized, know how to move, how to communicate, have a better vision of the game and make them a better teammate. It doesn’t matter how good of a player you are if you don’t make your teammate better.”

Osteraas reinforces this idea.

“One thing I like about Pablo’s approach is that he’s really starting off with the basics and trying to build a strong foundation from there,” Osteraas said. “We’ve been focusing on connecting passes and being strong defensively. He’s really trying to make sure that everyone gets individualized attention based on your position, which is really helpful.”

Osteraas has high hopes for the new season.

“We have yet to win. But one thing that I’m optimistic about is that I’ve definitely seen a progression,” Osteraas said. “For our first couple games, we were losing by a lot, and now the past couple games we’ve been fighting for it more. I think if we keep bringing that intensity and that determination to win, one of these days it’ll pay off and we can score some goals.”