WESTFIELD TWP. — Aaron Cummings will quite literally hit the ground running as the coach of the Cloverleaf boys soccer program.
Officially hired Monday at the school board meeting, the 37-year-old from Westfield has less than a week to get things in line before the practice officially begins for the fall season on June 30.
Cummings, 37, takes over for Zach Scisciani, who guided the Colts to a 15-48-6 mark in four seasons.
“I actually began to get stuff in place before I officially got hired because I knew I had the job back in June,” Cummings said. “I kind of got communicating with some of the kids and have coached some of the freshmen coming in and know some of the kids by doing foot skill camps. I attended some of the summer leagues and got to see their abilities through that.”
Cummings, a 1998 Cloverleaf graduate, is no stranger to the program, having earned three letters in high school. He also has coached recreation and travel teams through the Cloverleaf Soccer Association.
“He’ll definitely be on the fast course, there’s no question about that,” Cloverleaf athletic director Craig Walkup said. “He lives in the Cloverleaf community so he’s very familiar with the boys on the team and the families involved in Cloverleaf soccer, so that helps quite a bit.
“He played soccer at Cloverleaf and has been involved in Cloverleaf youth soccer for several years. We’re confident he’ll come in and get us in the upper half of the league on a consistent basis.”
Cummings, who is in the telecommunications industry, inherits a program that was 2-15 last season and finished last in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division at 0-7.
That squad was full of youth, but this year’s team could produce as many as six seniors with varsity experience should Brad Lepin, Frank English, Anthony Gorczyca, Kenny Jenkins and Tyler Wilker come back.
Add an influx of youngsters and it should be a smooth transition as long as Cummings can get everyone on the same page.
“Soccer is a team game and a sport of cohesion to be successful,” Cummings said. “It’s still going to be a young team. I’ll look to those seniors to help guide the team into this first season. It’ll be a challenge, but we’re going to work.
“When this program has been successful, we could compete with bigger schools because we had a good youth program. That’s not to say we haven’t had a good youth program, but I think what me and some of the other people in the program have done over the last few years is getting kids staying in soccer and enjoying it. I won’t have the footprint I had before, but do plan on shaking hands with that program, do some clinics and keep that relationship strong and funneling into the high school program.”