When Kevin Schultz left to become the head men’s soccer coach at South Puget Sound Community College, there was an opening to fill for the head spot of Tenino’s girls soccer program.
But the Beavers did not have to look far; they had local talent already lined up. Dave Montgomery, who grew up in and graduated from Tenino, has family ties so strong in the Stone City there’s even a building in Tenino with “Montgomery” emblazoned on it.
Montgomery student-taught at Tenino back in the fall of 2007 and has since taught as a sub, then in Forks, Rochester and now it is his second year teaching history at Tenino. Montgomery has been with the girls soccer program for five years as an assistant coach after Schultz brought him on staff since the two had played rec league soccer together.
“It’s been awesome,” Montgomery said. “This has definitely been one of my best coaching experiences. It’s special growing up here and now coaching here.”
Montgomery was one of the first people to know that Schultz was contemplating taking the college position. With the position opening up at Tenino, Montgomery said he didn’t have a second thought.
“It was something I knew I needed to do,” Montgomery said. “The kids mean so much to me. Some of them I have coached since seventh grade in basketball.”
This will be Montgomery’s 15th year coaching a sport and fifth coaching soccer. He is looking forward to carrying the momentum forward in the Tenino soccer program that Schultz built.
“When Kevin came in here he had a very clear plan and saw that along with the seniors and juniors in the program, the younger classes were coming up strong,” Montgomery said. “Building the program has been because of their hard work, they had been so close to getting to state a couple of years before Kevin started and we got over the hump and we kept that going.”
Montgomery said he doesn’t expect massive changes to the program with him as head coach. There might be a new formation or two but he said his focus is just integrating the younger players into the experienced veterans of the soccer program. Tenino looks like it will have about 22-23 kids coming out for the team this year but will have to work on replacing eleven graduated players.
“The older girls have already been welcoming to next year’s freshmen and transfer students,” Montgomery said. “It’s just so cool the kids are so receptive to the younger players.”
Montgomery said he still expects Tenino to be there in the battle for the top of the league. Other teams in the league also faced a good chunk of players graduating so it will be a test in how well each team can have its younger players integrate.
Montgomery said it first hit that he was the head coach after a practice with the team when he was locking up the equipment and was alone on the black artificial turf.
“It was kind of a big moment,” Montgomery said. “I don’t take this lightly, I love Tenino and the kids and I want them to have success and do well in the classroom. This program really belongs to the kids and all the success is due to their hard work.”
Montgomery added that soccer was something that came to him later in life, but through the friendships made, it’s currently a big part of his life. Montgomery is also the announcer for the Lacey Lights, and a big fan of the Sounders and the OL Rein.
“I hope I can share that love with the girls and hopefully they can build lifelong friendships as well,” he said. “This sport is so incredibly special to me, I can’t imagine life without it.”