Sandidge brings elite coaching experience to boys varsity soccer team

JAKE RAFFA, Staff Writer

   For the past few years, Trinity Prep has had a very talented boys varsity soccer team. Despite this potential, the Saints have consistently come up just short. In an effort to improve the program, the athletic department decided it was time to hire a new head coach.

   During the offseason, Ray Sandidge was hired as the new boys varsity head coach. 

   Sandidge is known for his impressive career as both a player and coach. He grew up playing soccer in Miami, Florida, where he honed his skills and developed a passion for the game. He later played for the University of Central Florida, where he served as a team captain. Once finished with his college career, he played with the USA Olympic team in 1979. After his professional career didn’t work out as he had wanted, Sandidge decided to take his love of soccer to the next level by becoming a coach.

   Sandidge was an assistant coach at the University of Central Florida for four years and later coached for various local varsity high school teams including Lyman and Winter Park. At these schools he left a huge impact, bringing a strong tradition of winning and success wherever he went.

   “Out of my 19 years so far as a high school coach, my teams were ranked in the top 10 for 12 of those years,” Sandidge said. “My teams have blessed me with over 300 wins as well.”

   Part of his teams’ overall success can be credited to Sandidge’s coaching style. As a coach, Sandidge views himself as intense and demanding.

   “I set high goals and expectations for the team, as well as for individual players,” Sandidge said.

   However, Sandidge believes this is all for the benefit of his teams, as he knows he can help them reach their maximum potential and become as successful as possible. He plans on bringing these same ideas to the Trinity Prep boys varsity soccer team, which he recognizes has a lot of talent and can be very successful. 

   “I think they could use a little discipline and help team-wise, and hopefully I can help them over this little hump to achieve success,” Sandidge said.

   Cole Cecconi, a starting forward and captain for the boys varsity soccer team, also recognizes the talent and potential of his team.

   “I think we can make a deep playoff run, and maybe even make it to states,” Cecconi said.

   Cecconi believes Sandidge will play a big role in the team’s success, because he brings a new level of experience and knowledge that the team has lacked in years past.

   “He’s a good coach, with a good history,” Cecconi said. “He really knows how to organize the team well.”

   With full support from his players, Sandidge looks to take the team to the next level.

   “I think that we’re going to be one of the top teams in our classification and one of the best private schools in Central Florida,” Sandidge said.