Mason steps up to replace Collins

By Doug Brenneman, JOURNAL Sports Editor


Change can often be difficult for most people.

Washington?s high school girls soccer program experienced quite a change just after the season started when Kyle Collins, who had been the head coach for eight seasons, got a new job working at the Iowa Army Ammunition plant in Middletown.

Collins resigned and assistant coach Callyn Mason stepped up to the head-coaching position. Mason had to officially resign from her assistant coach position and apply for the head coach position to be promoted to the job.

?Kyle and I are very close personal friends, so much so that he introduced me to my fiancé,? Mason said. ?He and I were on a different level than most coaches.?

Collins was also close to his team and Mason said there were some tears shed in the meeting where he told them about his new job. He waited to have that meeting until he knew for sure that that job would work for him.

?Getting a federal job like that, there is a process,? Mason said. ?He wanted to be sure what was happening before he told us about possible changes.?

Mason said Collins is the kind of guy who would do anything for people.

?He formed very close bonds with the team and that?s how he is with his friendships,? Mason said.

The new coach hopes it is one of those things where ?you never know what?s going to happen and maybe something amazing comes out of it.?

That is where new assistant coach Protacio Marcelino comes into the picture.

?It was a group decision with Brent Van Weelden that it would just be easier for the girls for me to move up and bring Pro on as the assistant,? Mason said. ?I wouldn?t be surprised if he was head coach next year.?

Mason is the physical education teacher and volleyball coach so she has knowledge of the individuals on the team but is not versed in soccer strategies.

?Pro is an incredible asset,? Mason said. ?He knows so much about soccer.?

Marcelino coaches local youth soccer and took a team to nationals recently. That program has really helped develop a local interest in soccer and the high school program hopes to benefit from that.

Although Mason is unsure about coaching soccer next year, she is very sure about her team.

?I just love these girls. They have such great personalities. Sometimes with girls in sports, there is a lot of drama, but that just hasn?t happened with this group. They are so cohesive. They have the desire to want to get better and that is just so much fun to coach.?

One thing that Mason has done to better the team is started a weightlifting program.

?A lot of the girls are not out for other sports, so they weren?t used to it,? she said. ?Last year we started lifting one day a week and this year we?ve even lifted on game day. The girls have responded to it and I think it is really helping them so much.?