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Boys' soccer coach of the year: Lou Sagastume, St. Mary's
Lou Sagastume has a knack. Nearly 50 years of coaching can do that for a guy.
He evaluates his players and figures out exactly where to put them. Sagastume used that skill on two big occasions during St. Mary’s championship season — once when Corey Friend went down to injury and again when Jacob Morales earned a second yellow in the semifinals and a suspension for the title game.
“I hate to say it, but I think the good Lord has given me a talent to see where the kids belong,” said Sagastume, who has been coaching at some level since 1964. “Once you have the right people on the bus you have to put them in the right seats, and that’s what I do best.”
Sure enough, there was no drop-off for the sixth-seeded Pirates on the way to their first 3A title.
“We thought the team would drop a little bit (after Friend was injured),” Pirates captain Evan Niebur said. “But we trusted in our coach to pick the right person for the job and he chose the right guy.”
St. Mary’s upset No. 3 Colorado Academy in the quarterfinals, No. 2 Faith Christian in the semifinals and beat No. 4 TCA for the championship.
At the Pirates’ recent banquet, Sagastume was already preparing his team for what they’ll face next season.
“The toughest thing to do is to stay up top,” he told his players. “Reaching the top is a great feat. But sometimes it’s harder to stay up top, because everyone that plays you plays their best to beat you.”