Wins are secondary to Robert Bogus.
To the director of coaching for Wesley Chapel Soccer Club (WCSC), technical growth trumps victories.
“We’re not going to compromise development for winning,” Bogus said. “It’s OK to make mistakes, and they have to do that to become better players.”
The WCSC, which is based out of Wesley Chapel District Park, has grown from less than 10 teams six years ago to 25 today, and Bogus said they will likely add five more next season.
Additionally, the WCSC added Jason Rouser, who won a gold medal in 1996 with the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team, to coach speed, strength and coordination.
Forward/midfielder Glenn Johnson, a Land O’ Lakes High sophomore, said that mentality drew him to the club four years ago.
“At this club we are actually developing, not just getting players in to win trophies,” said Johnson, a member of Bogus’ U15 team. “We’re not about just searching for good players to win. We all come here because we know this club is going to make us better.”
Forward/midfielder Eric Spangler, a Mitchell sophomore, joined the U15 team four months ago and said he has already seen improvements.
“He makes us work on our weaknesses and things I wasn’t doing before, and that’s really helped,” Spangler said.
Bogus uses off-the-field methods to go with work on the pitch.
The players wear heart rate monitors to track their fitness. Bogus gives them nutrition guides so they are properly fueled for games and practices and the coach also takes instruction online by playing FIFA Soccer on Xbox with them, which allows him to go over game tactics.
“It really helps if my team is going to be playing on a bigger field,” Bogus said. “There are more equations for them to solve on the bigger field.”
Bogus’ U15 team will put its skill to the test by playing in the Bahamas against the island nation’s U15 and U17 national teams today and Saturday, respectively.
“We know they’re going to be a lot bigger, faster and stronger than we are, so we’ve got to outsmart them and play our game,” said Morgan Vraspir, a sophomore midfielder from Brooksville Nature Coast.
Bogus said facing such a tough opponent will help identify areas to improve.
“For me, this isn’t a job,” Bogus said. “This is a mission to make them into the best players possible and give them a passion for soccer.”