Coach Jeff Blumkin was hired by the Athletics Department last summer to run the Marlborough soccer program, overseeing the 7/8, 9th Grade and JV Soccer teams and coaching the Varsity Soccer team.
After a difficult season last year, during which the Varsity team lost most of their games, the team is improving, according to Blumkin, and has the motivation and determination to succeed in the Sunshine League playoffs. This season, Varsity Soccer has won six games, lost four games and tied for one game. While many players said they are happy with these results, others are concerned about the team’s chances at playoffs.
“At this time the lack of seriousness of players and concentration affects the team greatly and adds to my anxiety,” Mara ’14 said early in the season.
Blumkin tries to get a competitive edge from the girls by having them compete in practice games against each other so that they know when to start to pushing themselves more.
“One of the perks of teaching the girls is their self-determination, because of their frustration of their previous season, and the fact that their egos don’t get in the way, like boys’ egos do. They are playing for the team, not for themselves,” Blumkin said.
Blumkin started playing soccer at age seven under the guidance of his father, a pharmacist who coached him during his free time. Blumkin played not only soccer but also basketball, volleyball and track. After his successful years as a high school athlete, Blumkin moved on to play professional soccer for the Montclair Standard Falcons, which was a short-lived professional soccer team in the early nineties. Unfortunately, his soccer career ended shortly after an opponent viciously kicked his head, mistaking it for the ball.
However, Blumkin continued to share his passion for soccer and has coached teams at schools such as Notre Dame High School and Chaminade High School. Blumkin coaches with his assistant and long-time friend James Mitrov.
Blumkin said he expects 150% from all of his soccer players but also understands the academic pressure Marlborough puts on students. He said his goal for the 2011-2012 winter season is to help Varsity reach the playoffs.
“The way I coach these girls is the same as I teach college players or my daughters. I expect them to leave their problems off the field and play soccer,” Blumkin said.
Many of the players said they remain hopeful about the rest of the season because of Blumkin’s support.
“Jeff Blumkin is so much more supportive and helpful than last year’s coach,” Sydney ’14 said. “Playoffs is definitely more possible to achieve, rather than last year when we lost every single game. I’m really glad we have a coach like him.”