With a sparkling record during her five seasons as the head girls soccer coach at Northview, Haley Williams was thought of as the favorite to become the first Dothan High Wolves girls soccer leader.
Still, until it was approved during the Dothan City Schools board meeting Monday night, there was always some doubt.
“You hear things and people tell you it should be you, but you never want to be too overconfident with it,’” Williams said. “I’m definitely confident in my abilities and the things I’ve been able to do the last five years at Northview and I’m extremely proud and honored and blessed to be able to have this opportunity to coach at a bigger program.”
Williams compiled a 68-26-7 record at the Cougars’ coach, which included three straight state Class 6A Final Four appearances (2016, 2017, 2018), and five area championships. Northview finished 13-4-1 this past season, which included making it to the third round of the state playoffs.
The Wolves will continue to play in Class 6A this upcoming season, but will most likely be reclassified as a Class 7A school the following year.
“I’m excited to be coaching a bigger team, because now you really get to test yourself against bigger opponents,” Williams said. “Not that we haven’t been tested in the past, because we have. But this is just another level to see if I can push my girls to reach.”
Williams is a 2008 Northview graduate who starred in soccer and basketball during her prep playing days. She played two years of basketball at Southern Union Community College and two more at Auburn University-Montgomery, along with one season of soccer there.
Now she is charged with pulling together the Northview and Dothan girls soccer teams through consolidation of the two schools this upcoming school year.
“Whether you’re at Northview or you’re at Dothan, the goal is still to win a state championship,” Williams said. “That’s always going to be something that bonds a team together. All these girls are from different backgrounds and different schools, but you share a common goal now. I think that will definitely bond us together.”
Williams kept an extra observant eye on Dothan High this past season with the possibility of becoming the coach of the new Wolves.
The Tigers finished the season 6-8-1, which included being eliminated by Northview 10-0 in the second round of the state playoffs. Northview also defeated Dothan 10-0 in the first meeting between the two schools during the season, but then had to rally for a 3-2 win in the second game.
“They have really fast girls, really athletic girls, and so I was definitely looking for those kind of things this year watching them, because I was thinking, ‘I could be potentially be the coach; these could be some of my future players,’” Williams said.
Williams said those interested in competing for the girls soccer program will be encouraged to take part in a summer conditioning program. She said tryouts would likely be held in the fall.
“It’s hard in a soccer season to work a lot on conditioning,” Williams said. “We do some things, but strength and conditioning really starts getting worked on a lot in the summer. We start building that ability to be able to run constantly for 80 minutes. It’s definitely a huge importance.”
Williams is eager to get the ball rolling.
“I’m just excited and looking forward to meeting some of the girls for the first time and hopefully continuing a successful run,” she said.