By Leila Dycus staff writer

It’s official. Morgan County High School has a new varsity soccer coach; Aaron Paul will take over as head coach of the 2014-2015 team. “I want to gain everyone’s trust so that we can all work together to build a program that the Morgan County community can be proud of,” said incoming soccer coach Aaron Paul. Paul is a new teacher at Morgan County High School (MCHS) who will be teaching tenth grade political science. It was announced several weeks ago that Coach Brandon York would be stepping down as soccer coach. Athletic Director Steve Cisson recently announced that Aaron Paul was named head coach of the soccer team. “My experience with coaching soccer is limited, but with my playing experience and knowledge about the game I think we can be successful,” said Paul. Hailing from Jefferson, Coach Paul played soccer for the Dragons his senior year. It was the first time in the school’s history that they had a school supported soccer team.

Paul played goalkeeper for Jefferson and started every game. “This season we have some gaps to fill on the roster,” said Paul. “Last years’ team had quite a few seniors, and that is always a challenge for any coach.” Player development is Coach Paul’s number one goal for the season. He also hopes to build a relationship with the Morgan Area Youth Soccer Association in order to have a feeder program for the years ahead. Paul also feels that making sure that Morgan County has a strong middle school program is also crucial to the success at the varsity level. Looking long term Coach Paul wants MCHS soccer to be competitive within the region and to make getting to the state playoffs a regular expectation of the team. Paul noted that the region alignments in soccer have changed a little bit. He feels that these changes will work in the Bulldogs favor, allowing them to be more competitive within the region. “I am really looking forward to getting to know the players and working with them to improve as individuals, as well as the team’s skills as a unit,” said Paul. He went on to say that he hopes to see the soccer players be successful not only on the high school level but also to go on to play at the next level in college. Paul is excited to be working in a city like Madison. Growing up in Athens, he passed through Madison often. “I am a true bulldog,” said Paul.

After graduating from The University of Georgia, Paul went on to work at North Gwinnett High School, home of another set of bulldogs. Paul says that being a Bulldog all his life makes this transition to joining Morgan County an easy one. Paul went on to say that he is excited about coming to MCHS for a number of reasons. The faculty and staff at MCHS have welcomed Coach Paul ever since his interview. Paul feels that Dr. Malanowski and his staff have done an excellent job in building an environment for students. “Morgan County High School is very similar to my alma mater, Jefferson High School, in both size and the level of community support that it has,” said Paul. “Community support is crucial to the success of both academic and extracurricular programs at any school, and MCHS has just that.” Off the field Coach Paul will be teaching tenth grade political science- a class, which focuses on American Government. Paul claims to be a political nerd who actually watches CSPAN. He also hopes to work with student council and sophomore congress at MCHS.