By Ben Short / Staff Writer
Catching a women’s soccer game is always a must at Hutchinson Community College, and not only for the fact that the Blue Dragons are often contenders.
This year, the Blue Dragons are 6-5-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the Jayhawk Conference, and they’ve played well in some tough games.
But some of the better entertainment is for the man that’s pulling the strings from the sideline. Yes, Blue Dragons coach Sammy Lane is a big attraction at these soccer games, and it’s credited to his loud coaching style. When fans go to these games, they can expect a lot of colorful language, clever one-liners, and kicking anything and everything in his path on the sideline.
“Sticker shock” is the phrase that comes to mind when Lane talks about freshmen coming into his program. It takes some time for them to adjust to Lane’s coaching style.
“At least a year, it wasn’t too bad last year because we had all fall and didn’t play until the spring,” Lane said about how long it takes for freshmen to get used to his style. “But for the kids that come in now, it’s very difficult because they’re used to being told everything is good, and ‘oh, nice try,’ and then they come here and they’re told when it is not good.”
As a coach, Lane doesn’t sugarcoat when he talks about his coaching methods to new recruits. “When I recruit I tell them, I’m incredibly demanding. I’m gonna tell you when you’re good and I’m gonna tell you when you’re bad,” Lane said. “I’m not for everybody. This is a demanding place. We expect you to do things as good as you can, as hard as you can all the time. If you aren’t, you’re gonna get told about it.”
After players spend more time with Lane, they learn it’s for their own good and he wants the best for them.
“I was very shocked (at first),” said sophomore Lani Dickinson, an England native. “I have never had a coach like him but he says the right things.”
It’s safe to say that the Blue Dragons have warmed up to the loud voice and wisecracks that are Sammy Lane.
Their coach tends to be sarcastic with them, and this is what keeps practices and pregame light and they can joke around with each other.
Freshman Hadlie Lowe, one of the top players in the conference, said her favorite saying Lane uses is “when he tells us to kill someone” when he gets fired up and wants them to be physical.
The soccer is good at the Salthawk Sports Complex, but so are the sideline antics of coach Sammy Lane.