FALL SPORTS PREVIEW: BOYS' SOCCER
LEDGER – It was almost the season that wasn’t for the 2018 Mitchell High School boys’ soccer team.
With eight players on the team late in the summer, first-year head coach George Tasedan was able to add four more and begins the season with 12, one more than the 11 required.
“We’re going to battle with what we have,” Tasedan said just a few days before the teams’ season-opening game at Brevard. “I am confident when school starts we’ll add a few more, too.”
Tasedan is eager to get started as Mitchell High School’s newest head boys’ soccer coach.
For Tasedan, a native of Romania, soccer has always been a big part of life.
Tasedan grew up playing soccer in Romania and escaped to the United States when he was 22 years old.
Tasedan played soccer for various high-level Romanian teams and spent most of his coaching career in Winston-Salem. He coached at Forsyth County Day School and was an assistant at Wake Forest University. He was an assistant for Mitchell’s girls’ soccer team in 2017.
“I’ve been around a little bit,” Tasedan said. “Soccer was an easy venue for me to explore and it’s always been part of my life.”
Tasedan and his wife, Glenna, moved to Mitchell County after their daughter, Grace, married Aaron Buchanan, the owner of Spruce Pine coffee shop Fox and the Fig. Tasedan enjoys visiting his four grandchildren whenever he has time.
He takes control of a Mitchell team that is coming off a 1-20 season – the Mountaineers are 2-54 over the past three seasons under former head coach Ed Duncan.
“These kids have to be playing for something rather than playing a defeatist game,” Tasedan said. “They have to be taught the game, and they have to know you’re on their side. They need to have knowledge instilled in them.”
Tasedan said his goal is to make the team competitive immediately and to make Mitchell soccer well-known eventually.
“I want to put Mitchell soccer on the map,” he said. “This is part of our lives, and we want to make sure people can respect us for what we know and can do.”
The team begins summer workouts later this month, and tryouts begin Aug. 1. The season starts at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, with a game at Brevard.
Tasedan said creating a sense of comradery to carry into the season begins immediately.
“We have to get to know each other and start creating relationships,” he said. “It’s all a huge unknown. The expectations for me are great, but we’re starting at zero, and you can’t go below that.”
Tasedan, a resident of Penland, said getting involved with the local high school simply made sense. After a couple of years away from the game, he was aching for a chance to hit the field again. At the school just a few miles from his front door, he has finally been given that opportunity.
“It’s exciting to get back into the game and work with something that is in my background,” he said. “It’s in my DNA and when you have it in your blood, even a week away from it is too much. It’s been gnawing at me, but it’s good to be able to get back.”
2018 Mitchell Boys’ Soccer Schedule
7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13 at Brevard
5 p.m. Wed., Aug. 15 vs. Burns
7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20 vs. Brevard
5:30 p.m. Wed., Aug. 22 at R-S Central
5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27 vs. Providence Academy (Johnson City, Tenn.)
5 p.m. Wed., Aug. 29 at Burns
5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10 vs. East Rutherford
6 p.m. Wed., Sept. 12 at Chase
5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17at East Rutherford
5 p.m. Wed., Sept. 19 vs. Chase
6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 at Mountain Heritage
6 p.m. Wed., Sept. 26 vs. Madison
6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1 vs. Polk County
7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Avery County
6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8 at Charles D. Owen
6 p.m. Wed., Oct. 10 vs. Mountain Heritage
6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 at Madison
6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct 17 at Polk County
6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 vs. Avery County
6 p.m. Wed., Oct. 24 vs. Charles D. Owen (senior night)
Home games in BOLD
2018 Mitchell Boys’ Soccer Roster