“I will be 65 before next soccer season and thought the team needed a youthful approach as I have mellowed as I have aged. Attention to detail and the basics are critical to a team’s success, and I have been less likely to demand this as I have aged,” stated Stone via email.
Stone will miss a committed, motivated group of players, as well as the competition presented within the CAP-8 schools.
“The teams in our region have the best coaching and players, and it has really been fun to compete, and I knew when our teams have been successful then we were one of the best teams in the state,” continued Stone.
He hopes that the team’s success from this year will repeat next season in the hands of the new head coach, a well-known name when considering Leesville soccer.
“Paul Dinkenor will take over the boys as well as continue with the girls, so I am leaving the team in top-flight hands, and their success will continue with what I hope will be a second consecutive conference championship,” said Stone.
Athletics Director Jack Rogers has faith that Dinkenor will do a good job.
“It’s exciting. He [Dinkenor] has had previous successes with both the boys and the girls, and with the foundation that Stone has created, great things will come,” remarked Rogers.
With his new spare time, Stone will become increasingly involved in his own athletics.
“Coaching a major team like varsity soccer really did not allow me the time needed to be competitive at the level that I have enjoyed in the past and I want to dominate the old guys like I used to,” remarked Stone.
Coaching soccer since 1972, this retirement is well deserved. However, Stone still plans to be involved in Leesville soccer.
“I will enjoy soccer just as much watching from the stands without having to worry about grades, eligibility, equipment or getting ball-people for the games. I will continue to be a big fan of all Leesville sports but especially soccer,” concluded Stone.
Brandon Arostegui, senior and member of the 2010 soccer team, said it best.
“Coach Stone will be missed. He was a great coach, and his soccer coaching legacy will live on throughout Leesville athletics.”