This year marks a new era for the North Lamar Soccer program. After years as head coach, Lance Johnson retired at the end of last season due to his ongoing fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Coach Johnson contacted Aaron Welch in the summer of 2013 asking him to join the staff as an assistant and take over the head coaching position upon his retirement. Coach Welch assumed the role of head coach of the North Lamar boys soccer program this school year and is extremely appreciative of Coach Johnson’s willingness to help him find a position at North Lamar.
Coach Welch has been married to his wife, Jodie, for five years, and they have a two year old daughter, Laney. After graduating from Stephen F Austin University, Aaron began coaching at his high school alma mater of Texas City in 2007. Midway through his first season, he moved into the head coaching role of the girls soccer team. The following year he took over the boys team after his high school coach, Scott Clark, retired. During his time in Texas City he also started a junior high program, allowing him to begin developing players in the 7th grade. Jodie, who is from this area, accepted a job opportunity in Paris during the summer of 2013 prompting the move here.
Coach Welch’s coaching philosopy is that ”you get out what you put in”. In order to experience results and success you have not previously experienced you have to commit to doing things you have never done. He believes that the game should be fun and exciting for his players.
He states that ”individual skill development is crucial to team success and that we should never stop growing and developing as soccer players.”
The foundation of this philosophy for Coach Welch is summed up in Colleen Hacker’s words, ”The objective in any team sport is to transform the group from a mere collection of talented individuals into a highly cohesive unit so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Aaron’s goal for the NL Soccer program is to create a culture of high expectations that yield a high success rate on the soccer field for his teams. While making the soccer playoffs each year is an easy and obvious goal, he wants more for the student-athletes in the NL program.
”I want us to improve each day as a team in all aspects of being a student-athlete," says Coach Welch. I want to help not only develop strong soccer players, but strong individuals with strong character.....lastly, each season we want to........Beat Paris High!!!”
For years, North Lamar soccer has been the best kept secret at the school, but not anymore. Coach Welch is very grateful for the opportunity to be at North Lamar because he knows it's where he is supposed to be.
"North Lamar feels like home," he says.
Now fans, it's up to you to show your support for the soccer program. The team begins district play this week against Princeton. Let's turn out and support coach Welch and the North Lamar soccer team.