Sports talk with Eric Dowd

One pass, one misdirection, one shot, and one goal scored by Bryce Kaler were what the Castleton Men’s soccer team needed to defeat Plymouth State 2-1 on Wednesday. With this win a milestone was achieved: Head Coach John Werner’s 100th win.
This wasn’t the first milestone that Werner has accomplished. Before he came to coach at Castleton, he coached at Arlington High School for 31 years. In 31 years he totaled 346 wins, which is most ever in Vermont high school soccer.
“I didn’t know how long I would stay at Castleton,” Werner said after coming here in 2004. “Castleton is a great place to be apart of, which makes it great to coach here.”
While Werner has coached for more than 40 years, he himself was a very good soccer player. He played for Oneonta State College and was an All-Conference defender. While at Oneonta, he got an interest in coaching from his own coach Garth Stam, “He always insisted in doing the right thing.”
Werner is doing the right thing here at Castleton. While speaking with him, he told me about his philosophy: family first, and soccer second.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a wedding or a funeral, I want them to go to it no matter how important, family comes first.”
He spoke that the 100 wins wouldn’t be possible without Scott French his goalkeeping coach, Paul Story his assistant coach, his wife and his two kids.  
Werner, who became the fastest to win 100 games, is now only 39 wins away from having the most wins as a Castleton coach. It won’t be this year, but when it does come, it will belong to a great man who coaches the right way; family first and soccer second.
The Soccer team is showing what they are made of so far, posting a 6-1 mark in the season. This Spartan team has 8 seniors, making the Spartans hard to beat. With senior Nick Johnas, the reigning NAC defensive player of the year, and senior Ian Hunter, who coach Werner calls “the rock of our team” are anchoring the defense, which has only allowed 5 goals in seven games. The offense is just as good, with Bryce Kaler, who leads the team with 5 goals, and Danny Favreau, who was this week’s NAC rookie of the week. Come out and watch the fast paced Spartans face in-state rival Middlebury, on October 2nd
The Spartan standout of the week goes to two people this week. Brandon Boyle and Denny Wilhelm were named to the team of the week. Boyle caught a school record 17 catches, while Wilhelm had two touchdowns and four catches that resulted in first downs, as the Spartans grabbed their second win of the season. Congrats guys.
Until next time Castleton, keep on keeping on.

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