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Destanie Johnson is new to coaching, but has a wealth of soccer experience as a player

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Destanie Johnson was recently named the new head girls soccer coach at CCHS. Johnson has extensive playing experience, but is new to high school coaching.Destanie Johnson may be new to coaching, but she certainly knows her soccer.

Johnson, who was recently named the new Crook County High School head girls soccer coach, has an extensive soccer background.

Not only has she played youth and high school soccer, she has played on a Nike elite team.

Johnson has been involved with soccer for most of her life.

Now, as she begins her coaching career, she is confident that she can successfully share her love of the game with players.

"I love the game," she said after a recent practice. "I want to pass that love of soccer on."

Johnson is certain that her soccer experience will help her to move the CCHS soccer program forward.

"We are going to emphasize skills and how to transfer those skills to game situations," she said.

Johnson knows that she has her work cut out for her if she is going to turn the CCHS girls soccer program around. The varsity squad has gone just 8-58-3 over the past five years.

Outside of coaching the girls soccer program, Johnson is not an employee of the school district. The Crook County resident is a real estate professional, married and the mother of two young children.

Johnson's immedidate goal with the program is to develop players who love and understand the game.

As players develop a love for the game and greater skills, she expects the program to become competitive and eventually become a perennial post season powerhouse.

Johnson said that she is pleased with the effort and attitude that she has seen from players so far and she is high on the athletic ability that she is seeing from players..

However, the team still needs a few more recruits in order to have both a varsity and JV squad, something she believes is necessary for the long term success of the program.

Next week, practice is set for 7-8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and from 6-8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Johnson's infectious enthusiasm is already rubbing off on players.

Wednesday morning, following an hour of conditioning and skill work, several players stayed after practice to continue to work on their game, while other players socialized off to the side.

It was obvious that players were having fun.

If players are already loving the game, the only question left is how long will it take before the team is competitive?

If Johnson has her way, the answer is not long.

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