POULSBO — Gregory St. Peter wants to pick up right where Chris May left off with the North Kitsap Vikings boys varsity team.
St. Peter was hired as the head coach Thursday night during the North Kitsap School Board’s regular meeting. St. Peter transitions from assistant coach to head coach, following May’s resignation.
Two days of tryouts for the boys’ spring soccer season begins Feb. 25.
St. Peter, a graduate of North Kitsap High School, has coached the team for nine years. He also coaches a U-12 girls soccer team with the North Kitsap Soccer Club for about two years.
The newest head coach is also a veteran on the field, having played with the Vikings in high school and later playing with FC Kitsap Premier Soccer Club — now WestSound FC. St. Peter played soccer since the age of 6, he said.
St. Peter would like to see the 2013 team make a State appearance, and get past that first round, he said.
The 2012 team fell short of a State berth in the West Central District III tournament. The Vikings lost to White River 4-3 in a playoff home game at North Kitsap Stadium.
St. Peter said postseason play becomes a mental game. There is a lot to distract high school seniors from the team’s goal. It comes down to preparation and understanding what it means to the team, he said.
But postseason is a season away.
St. Peter expects 40 or more people to try out for the team. Though many varsity players graduated after the 2012 season, St. Peter said there is a good amount of returning underclassmen who will be solid players.
Though he’s laid back and likes to have fun, St. Peter also wants to keep things serious on the field. Players, he said, improve more when they enjoy what they’re doing.
“I’m looking forward to it,” St. Peter said of coaching in the spring.