Q&A with Seth Semones
Residence: Warner Robins
Coach of CGA Mustangs soccer
Q: Middle Georgia home-schoolers have done well in soccer this year, haven’t they?
A: Yes! Our boys won a state championship May 5, and our girls, who are in their inaugural season, ran all the way to finals. So yeah, it’s been a successful year, one we’ve been building toward.
Q: So this: how do home-schoolers organize soccer teams?
A: It’s through Central Georgia Arts and Athletics. That’s our overall program, and our mascot name, our team name, is Mustangs.
Q: What is it, a collaboration of home-schooled families?
A: CGA started four or five years ago to help home-schooled and other non-traditional students have programs for competitive athletics, arts and different enrichment possibilities. It’s a nonprofit charitable organization overseen by a board of Christian parents.
Q: It’s not just a soccer group?
A: Not at all. I’m involved with soccer, but there are sports like baseball, basketball, cross country and volleyball. Other sports, too. Then there’s an arts side with things like drama, literary, music and a robotics group, which I guess may be more enrichment. There are different interest clubs and things like field trips and community service opportunities.
Q: With soccer, who do you play? What championship did you win?
A: Our league affiliation is with the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association, GICAA, and we’re Division II-AA. That’s the title we won.
Q: Where are your players from?
A: We have players from across Middle Georgia. This year we had players from Warner Robins, Macon, Milledgeville and even Cordele and Jackson County.
Q: How many are on your squad?
A: We took 19 to the championship.
Q: How does this year compare to previous?
A: In previous years we haven’t actually won any tournaments but won a lot of matches. We’ve been region champs but were always runners up at tournaments and state. This year we won tournaments and region. The King’s Academy in Woodstock has always been the big gun at state and reigning champion for four years. It was a good redemption year for us and great to dethrone them.
Q: What’s been the team’s history?
A: When I took over the program in 2014, I guess I had 16 to 18 kids, and it’s only grown ever since. We had about 60 try out this year. Programs in other towns are growing, too. I know of two new programs in new towns. The opportunity for home-schoolers to participate in athletics and do well is growing exponentially. Competition is getting tougher.
Q: But you came out on top?
A: Yeah. We set our sights on it and built toward it, and this was the year. I don’t know if I said this, but the program is only four years old. I’m pretty happy. And for our girls to do what they did in their first year, I think they’ve done great.
Q: What’s your background?
A: I started playing soccer here at six with CGSA, the Central Georgia Soccer Association, out on Ga. 96. I grew up there and played my entire high school career at Northside High School. Then I played at Maryville College in Tennessee for two seasons. I always knew I wanted to coach. When I got to Maryville my coach asked me what I wanted to do, and I said one day, I want to be standing where you are — be a coach.
Q: Then you came back to Warner Robins?
A: I came back in 2014, and CGA had feelers out that they needed a coach. Someone told them about me, and, with it being a Christian organization and this person knowing I was a believer, it worked out. I got my first paid coaching work and got my feet wet. I was pretty excited.
Q: Do you do other coaching?
A: I’m assistant coach at Wesleyan College, and I coach at Southern Alliance Futbol. Southern Alliance is the club associated with the CGSA complex. I got more education in coaching, a diploma with USC — United Soccer Coaches — and I hold a National D License with the United States Soccer Federation.
Q: What drew you to soccer?
A: Playing since I was little helped me love it, but it’s also that there’s such a sense of creativity and elegance in it. Worldwide, it’s called the beautiful game for a reason. There are so many approaches and plays and options. The passion involved speaks volumes to me, and I love soccer culture here and internationally. As far as coaching, I just love seeing others, seeing kids, play and grow in the game.
Q: And teams develop?
A: Yeah, really. I’m delighted and a little shell-shocked at winning state. When I took the program it was new and just a few young kids, but I saw real potential and talent and knew it could happen if developed right. And they were good this year, real good. But the thing is, we’re graduating seven seniors off the squad, so we have a bit of a re-start ahead. But it’s still a good squad, and we can do it.
Q: How can people contact the program?
A: A website, www.centralgeorgiaaa.org.
Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.