Youth gets bet­ter of ex­pe­ri­ence in a fa­ther-son coach­ing bat­tle

Don Shea’s Scor­pi­ons fall to Wilde­cats, led by his son, 1st-year coach Trevor Shea

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Glenn Gra­ham glenn.gra­ham@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Glen­nGra­hamSun

Long­time Oak­land Mills boys soc­cer coach Don Shea turned 64 on Tues­day. He hasn’t lost many games on his birth­day. And, be­fore Tues­day, he’d never coached one against his son.

Wilde Lake and its first-year coach, Trevor Shea, vis­ited in a keenly an­tic­i­pated fam­ily af­fair. It turns out DonShea taught his son well. The Wilde­cats set the tone with an early goal, pro­tected the ad­van­tage with strong play from goalie Ger­ald Van Tas­sel and some good for­tune, then added an in­sur­ance goal in the clos­ing min­utes to pull out a 2-0 win over the Scor­pi­ons.

Don Shea took the birth­day loss in stride. He re­called a big win over then-No. 1 River Hill when Trevor, then a stand­out player for the Scor­pi­ons, scored the win­ning goal. On both nights, he said, he left proud of his son.

“Some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you,” Don Shea said. “All his [play­ers] know me from soc­cer camp, and they were walk­ing through the line all say­ing, ‘Happy birth­day, happy birth­day, happy birth­day.’ ”

Don Shea is in his 35th sea­son coach­ing high school boys soc­cer in Mary­land. He’s cap­tured nine state ti­tles and has well over 300 wins. He spent his first 10 years at Elk­ton, win­ning one state crown there be­fore claim­ing eight more in his first 18-year stint at Oak­land Mills. He stepped down in 2003, then re­turned in 2010, largely to be along­side Trevor, who was the Scor­pi­ons’ ju­nior var­sity coach for seven years be­fore tak­ing over at Wilde Lake.

On Tues­day, plenty of alumni were in at­ten­dance, and as they rolled into the sta­dium, Don Shea quipped, “Is this Alumni Day?” One shot back: “It’s the Su­per Bowl!”

In the game’s sev­enth minute, Den­zel Pinyen headed home a long throw from Kevin Comeaux to give the Wilde­cats (5-3-1) a 1-0 lead. The Scor­pi­ons (3-6) cre­ated chances to tie — most com­ing off long throws from sopho­more Dar­bouze­son Cas­sues — but Van Tas­sel proved sturdy in goal and one shot went off the cross­bar and an­other hit the post. With the Scor­pi­ons push­ing for­ward late in the game, Nick David scored on a counter to se­cure the win with less than two min­utes to play.

“It’s awe­some to just have that ex­peri- Oak­land Mills coach Don Shea, left, cel­e­brated his 64th birth­day Tues­day, the day his Scor­pi­ons faced Wilde Lake, coached by his son, Trevor. ence be­cause not ev­ery­body gets to have that,” said Trevor Shea, a 2001 Oak­land Mills grad­u­ate whowon­three straight state ti­tles as a player with his fa­ther at the helm. “I’m glad that it wasn’t in too much of a pres­sure game, so we were re­laxed. Some­times, it’s bet­ter to be lucky than good. I think tonight we were prob­a­bly more lucky that they were.”

Don Shea gave Trevor and the Wilde­cats their due.

“I thought both teams com­peted very, very well,” he said. “His kids played very well and I think they knew the im­por­tance of the game. We, on the other hand, have a very young team.”

At the end of the big day, Don Shea had plenty to be proud of. In the girls game played ear­lier in the day, his daugh­ter Megan, also a first-year coach at Wilde Lake, came away with a 7-0 win over the Scor­pi­ons. So was it still a happy birth­day? “Yeah. No prob­lem,” said Shea with a smile. Oak­land Mills’ Sam Onumah, left, and Jack Swain of Wilde Lake fight for a first-half header. Den­zel Pinyen and Nick David scored for the Wilde­cats.

LLOYD FOX/BAL­TI­MORE SUN PHO­TOS

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