JV soccer welcomes new coach, embraces style

By Hanna Taft, Staff Writer

 

Akinola Lake’s addition to the soccer program is definitely a pleasant surprise. With his will to win and his love for the game, CHS’s newest boys JV soccer coach has big plans for his players this year.

 

At just 22 years old, Coach Lake has already proven to the CHS community that he is more than capable of being the boys JV soccer head coach. Originally from Sierra Leone and raised in England, he came to America looking for coaching opportunities. His love of “fútbol,” as he calls it, is what has taken him to where he is today.

 

“I just love the game,” Lake said. “[Coaching] is what I’m supposed to do. I just want to help players achieve their dreams.”

 

Lake received a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, but soon realized that soccer was his passion. He moved away from everything he knew to follow his dreams of coaching. He now wants to help the soccer team make their dreams come true as well.

 

“I want the team to appreciate how privileged they are to be a part of this beautiful game,” Lake said. “I want them to do their best to play beautiful, creative, and inspirational soccer at all times.”

 

Sophomore Nikhil Perincherry has taken Lake’s message to heart.

 

“I think I can speak for pretty much the whole JV soccer team when I say that Coach Lake has improved our game in the couple weeks he’s had with us more than most coaches could improve us in a whole season,” Perincherry said. “He’s great because he addresses all of our personal issues and works on them individually with us.”

 

Lake also wants the players to understand that they are all different people but their team objective is the same.

 

Freshman Joey Strawn definitely understands what Lake is asking for.

 

“Coach Lake has made an impact on not only on my soccer mentality but on the mentality of my teammates,” Strawn said. “He has taught us the fundamental skills to become a team player.”

 

Lake’s coaching philosophy involves creating a positive and enjoyable environment for players to learn and express themselves on and off the field at all times.

 

“Coach Lake is always motivating us to be the best person that we can be, both on and off the field,” Perincherry said. “Coach is always willing to help us with any issues we have, whether it be soccer related or not.”

 

Athletic Director David Kelley agrees that Lake’s addition as coach is beneficial to the soccer program.

 

“[Coach Lake] is a welcome addition to the Winston Churchill coaching staff,” Kelley said. “His youthful exuberance and experience with soccer has made an immediate impact on the members of the team.”

 

Lake admires the team’s will to learn, its love of the game and its team spirit. When it came to the team’s weaknesses, he was at a loss for words.

 

“I think this team has a bright future,” Lake said. “I think in the next two years we’ll probably do something special.”