By: Sarah Meklir
In-Depth Gold Editor
Hammond’s Allied Soccer team had a successful season this fall under the supportive instruction of Coach Dhillon. Dhillon said, “It’s always a bit of a struggle getting a team together at the beginning of the year, getting help, but once we get started it goes really well. The kids enjoy it.”
Mr. Dhillon, a math teacher for the special education department, has coached the team for three years, and has prior experience coaching at high school and college levels. “I coached at Atholton for 8 years, helped out at Howard Community College coaching the guys on varsity there, and I was a graduate assistant coaching in college.”
When asked about his favorite aspect of coaching, Dhillon replied, “The best part about coaching is seeing how much fun the players have. I’ll always enjoy that. That’s the most important.” While they’re trying to teach the team some soccer skills, he said the most rewarding part was presenting the players with opportunities they may not have been given otherwise.
“All the kids improved and got more comfortable as the year went on,” Dhillon said. Throughout the season, certain players stood out for their improvement and dedication. “Gabe Thompson started out very shy, and as the season went on, he came out of his shell a little bit.” Coach Dhillon added, “Camilia Omar-Jones started out, had a rough beginning of the season, then turned it around and finished the season really strong.”
In regards to next season, the coach hopes to involve more students with the program. “[My] goals for next year are to get some extra helpers, to get more kids on the team. We’re trying to grow the program a little bit.” When enlisting new members, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of such a supportive environment.
Students involved learn skills that will benefit them for years to come, including “following directions, teamwork, and overcoming limitations,” said Dhillon, “Being able to do something people said they couldn’t do, things like that. That’s what’s gonna help them in the long run.”
Photo Credit: Hammond HS Athletics