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
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.