Cathedral girls soccer coach keeps Green Wave winning
NATCHEZ — Beth Foster wasn’t ready to be head soccer coach for Cathedral High School.
When she found out former head coach Donovan Silva was going to leave Cathedral in May 2014, Foster begged athletic director Craig Beesley to find a replacement for the varsity girls team. But when the season inched closer, Foster reluctantly accepted the responsibility of coaching the girls, despite her lack of insight over the sport.
“I wish I would have paid more attention when Donavan was here,” Foster said, laughing. “They needed somebody to step in. My son (Hunter Foster) played for Cathedral and went on to play college ball, so I think they looked at me and assumed, ‘Well, she knows it.’ Not the case.”
So, Foster gathered her team at her house before the season, encouraging a mad scramble to remember everything Silva did in previous practices.
“We started writing down the plays of everything we had,” junior midfielder Paige Foster said.
Fellow junior Abby Brown remembered that day vividly.
“It was like, ‘Does anybody remember this drill with anything involving defense?’” Brown said. “And like, ‘what about this drill, or what did we do for this?’”
That was only the beginning when it came to the help Foster would receive from her team. When the team hit the field, Foster would talk about what she wanted to see, and senior Kayla Cauthen would relay it in soccer terms and line the team up accordingly.
“We were more involved with the team in who goes where,” Cauthen said. “We knew each other’s weaknesses and strengths, so we kind of got to place people where we wanted to.”
Foster had some help from the outside too, as Hunter came and helped her during a few practices. Silva also kept in contact with her, sending her videos frequently.
“Well, at first, I would wake up the next day to several YouTube videos on my phone that Donavan had sent, but after like two weeks, the videos stopped,” Foster said. “By then, we had kind of found our groove.”
Luckily for Beth, the Green Wave’s situation had a positive effect. Instead of tearing the team apart, it brought the team closer together, Cauthen attested.
“This is the closest soccer team I’ve been on since eighth grade,” Cauthen said. “We all know each other way better, and work with each other better.”
Despite losing its head coach at the start of the season, Cathedral has managed to rack up a 9-3 record and created a playoff birth which the team will participate in as the No. 2 team in its region Tuesday.
Foster might have stepped out of her comfort zone when she accepted the job, but now, she’s coaching a team that’s looking to make a run in the playoffs. And because her team was so willing to help her on the journey, she’s vastly expanded her knowledge on the sport.
“I’ve learned a great deal,” Foster said. “I’m excited that we’ve gotten this far.”