Jay Trump has a famous last name.
He doesn’t own towers in Manhatten and vast properties across the country, didn’t host a reality show and he isn’t running for president.
But he’s no stranger to soccer and he seems like the right fit to lead the Logan High School soccer team out of the gate.
Trump, a Wyoming County native and graduate of the old Glen Rogers High School in the Pineville area, has been tabbed to coach the fledgling Logan soccer program.
Trump will officially be named as the head coach of the Wildcats on Thursday evening at the regularly scheduled Logan County School Board meeting.
He said he’s excited to lead the new team. Trump was one of the founders of the Chapmanville-based Coalfield Youth Soccer League, which has been active for close to a decade.
“It’s not my first go-around. I’m one of the ones that started up the Coalfield Soccer League in Logan County,” Trump said. “It will be a difference going from a Rec League to high school team. Right now, the season is already getting close. August 1st is your first practice day. We’re trying to get games scheduled. We’re going to have a meet and greet on Thursday at 4 p.m. for the parents and players. We’re excited. Just like Chapmanville, this will be our first time in having a soccer team.”
Logan will join Chapmanville and Tug Valley as new prep soccer teams in the southern coalfields.
The Wildcats will play their first ever game in late August.
“I talked to the coach at Tug Valley just recently. She had a team that played in our league,” Trump said. “Her, myself and Greg (Dillon, Chapmanville’s coach) are all in the same situation of having a team for the first time. We’re all anxious and excited all at the same time.”
Trump said there will be a huge difference between Rec League soccer and the high school game and his players must adjust to the pace and style of play. He’s called for an organizational meeting on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Logan High School Little Theater for prospective soccer players and their parents.
“The main growing pain is that it will be our first team,” Trump said. “We’ve worked with a lot of these kids the last six years in our league but now they are going to a new level of play. It’s going to be a different level of play and that will be the biggest challenge. The competition is going to be more fierce and more serious. Instead of more like a pickup game it with be tougher competition.”
Trump said having the Coalfield Youth Soccer League will pay off in the long run for the new Logan program.
“That has been one of the biggest assets that we’ve got,” Trump said of the league. “We can’t pull from the middle school because they didn’t have a team, so we are going to pull from the Rec League. A of players got an understanding of soccer there and now they have to take it to the next level. When you are playing Rec ball everyone wants to score goals but now it’s more about the team. They will have to sit back and play more team ball.”
Logan already has a first-class facility with the Logan Football Stadium, which was carpeted with Field Turf last summer as part of a $2.5 million project which also turfed the football fields at Chapmanville and Man.
“That’s an excellent thing for the program,” Trump said of the turf. “We won’t have to worry about finding a field or field conditions. Getting the Field Turf in Logan County I think was the biggest hurdle of getting it (soccer) into the schools. It was great to get Field Turf in Logan, Chapmanville and Man. The soccer lines are already down and the soccer goals are already in place. That’s the biggest expense for a soccer team — the goals and the field. Everything else just falls into place.”
Having limited facilities and with the grass often getting chewed up by multiple football teams was a big obstacle in getting soccer in Logan County, Trump said.
That’s not a problem now with the artificial surface, which usually has a life of around 10 years.
“Years back, they didn’t want the football field to be completely destroyed,” Trump said. “I never understood it until I got with (Chapmanville Athletics Director George) Barker. I talked to him and he let me understand that if you have a grass field you’ve got to have 20 percent grass in order to have your field playoff ready. You have Midget League football that plays on it, high school football, middle school football, JV football and teams had to practice on it as well. If you would have had soccer in there too that would have knocked it down to 10 percent of grass. A home playoff game might have been taken from them.”
With one week left next week in the three-week June summer practice period, Trump said he would like to get his player’s feet wet in the prep level game.
“I won’t get approved until Thursday if all goes to plan but then there will be some paperwork. But I’ll be getting with the kids for a couple of days,” Trump said. “This will be a first for us just having a team, just the same for Chapmanville. If we win a game it will be an awesome thing to happen. I was talking to the coach at Scott and he said they went a few years before they won their first game. You have to have baby steps. We just have to get our kids, our parents and our kids to understand that. Our soccer team is new and a lot of people don’t really know that much about soccer. Well, come out and watch us play.”
Logan County was one of the last areas across the state to get high school soccer.
Neighboring counties Lincoln, Boone and Wyoming have offered prep soccer for years.
Soccer is also big in the Charleston area, down to Beckley, north to Parkersburg and in the Morgantown area and in the eastern panhandle.
Nearby Mingo Central has also had a team since its consolidation.
“That was our argument too. We said, ‘Why should our kids be the last ones in line to get soccer?” Trump said. “We’ve got a great community. I work in the mines and I moved here in 1998. I lived in Man first, then I moved to downtown in Chapmanville and now I still live in the outskirts of Chapmanville. Logan County is a great, close-knit community. I can go from here to Chapmanville to Man and I’ll run into people and talk to them. The communities are tight and the rivalries are tough but when you get away from that people are friendly.”
Trump said soccer is a great sport and he urges more youth in the Logan area to get involved.
“Soccer is becoming more and more popular in America. It’s the biggest sport worldwide and it’s a great sport for kids to get into,” he said. “It’s great for any kid in any sport to get your footwork better or to get your cardio up.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).