One thing Eric Guyer has going for him is that he knows his personnel.
Guyer was named the girls soccer coach at Chambersburg on Wednesday and, thanks to his coaching in the youth ranks and watching his daughter Hayley play, he's seen just about all of the Trojans in action for several years.
"I've coached a lot of the girls on the team and the ones I haven't coached, I've seen them play the last three years," Guyer said. "I have a good grasp of what's there."
What he believes is that the Trojans have potential.
"I think we have a good core of underclassmen who will push the older girls," he said. "Our JV team did well last year, even beating or tying Red Land and Cumberland Valley, and those teams have set the bar recently."
The position opened up because girls soccer is moving to the fall. Girls coach Guy Furfaro decided to coach the boys because his son Marc plays for Chambersburg, so that left an opening for the girls coach.
Guyer said, "After I coached at James Buchanan, I went into youth soccer and I've coached ever since. I've coached my kids' teams, but some other ones, too. I really enjoy coaching and mentoring. When this came open earlier I kicked it around, but Guy was a no-brainer pick. But when he left, I thought it was a good idea."
Guyer coached the JB boys for three years, from 2001-03 and had a record of 20-35-2. He also took over the Rocket girls program for a season (4-14) when the school was in a pinch for a coach.
In addition to Hayley, who will be a junior, Guyer's youngest daughter Payton is entering sixth grade.
Guyer sees two big challenges for the program: 1.) the change to the fall season, and 2.) Chambersburg's schedule.
The girls finished their final spring season in May, and now will turn it around and do it again three months later. Plus, practice begins in the heat of summer - quite a change from chilly March days and indoor practices. And, some girls will have to choose between playing soccer and perhaps another sport they previously played in the fall.
"I haven't really pushed to find out what decision some girls have to make about which sport to play," Guyer said. "I don't want to back them into a corner. I guess I'll find out on the first day of practice and see who shows up.
"I think a big thing will be acclimation to the heat because it's so much different than the spring. We won't do two-a-days right at the start; I want them to slowly get acclimated. But I hope the girls will take it upon themselves to do some conditioning on their own before that."
The Trojans' already tough schedule may have gotten tougher. The new Commonwealth Division has nine teams - holdovers Cumberland Valley, Red Land, Central Dauphin, CD East, Cedar Cliff and Carlisle, plus newcomers State College and Mifflin County.
That leaves room for only two non-league games and those will be spent at the Hershey Tournament, with the first game against Manheim Township and the second against either Hershey or Donegal.
"In our division, four of the teams were in the state tournament last year and Cedar Cliff was in districts," Guyer said. "It's stacked. It's definitely good competition.
"Our girls will have to realize that the teams we play have girls playing practically year round and we can't come in just three weeks before the season starts and expect to compete with them."
There will be competition for berths on the Trojan team. Guyer has stressed that even girls who didn't make the team last spring are welcome to try out.
"I want to see who accepts the challenge," he said. "Girls who graduate or leave create opportunities for others. I think it's exciting to see who is driven to take that spot.
"I like to see hustle and determination. I'm a little more aggressive as a coach - I like the team to play with a little bit of an edge."
Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and firstname.lastname@example.org.