SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The South Brunswick High School boy’s soccer team has opened up the season at 6-3 under Chris Hayston, a math teacher who is in his 17th career year as head coach at the school. As the freshman coach, the team won the central jersey group four back in 2002. While Hayston has been the varsity head coach, the team has won GMC titles in 2009 and 2015 and brought the team to the finals nine times in the past 17 years.
Hayston has been playing soccer since he was five years old, his father was the head coach at East Brunswick High School for 23 years. He played soccer at Monroe High School and at The College of New Jersey. He began as a freshman coach at South Brunswick in 2000 and was made head coach in 2003.
Hayston says that he is optimistic about the team's opportunity to win a championship title this season due to the strength of his players. Team members like Jake Stump, a four-year varsity player, is currently on the verge of breaking the school record for most goals (the record is 65, Stump currently has 63). Other players like center back Sebastiano Villano, goalie Joey Mastromonica and midfielder Cory Peterson have also contributed to the team's success.
“I think we’ve had a lot of good players throughout the years that’s always been the stable of our success and this year is no different.” Hayston said “We haven’t had too much luck in the finals, but we know we get there often, so we must be doing something right. Can’t win unless you get there.”
Hayston holds practice for his players every day, focusing on technique and fitness in the preseason and concentrating on game planning during the season. According to Hayston, some of his players do have aspirations of playing soccer while in college and expects that at least three or four of them would continue playing. Although the season is still early, some of his players been looked at by some schools. Hayston could not tell which schools or what players as nothing has been officially declared yet.
“There is a lot of outstanding players on this team, I wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if some of them went on to play in college” Hayston said “We’ve been lucky enough to see some of our South Brunswick players continue to play in the past and this group is no different.”
Last year, Hayston reached his 200th career win as a coach for South Brunswick High School. Hayston said that he owes this accomplishment to the wonderful players he has been lucky enough to coach. As the season continues, Hayston expects the team to do exceptionally and even make it to one of the finals.
“You don't win that many games just because of your coaching or drills, players win games more than coaches ever will” Hayston said “I have an opportunity to work with some wonderful kids and great staff here at the school. It sure does make me feel old and like I’ve been doing this forever, but I’m so grateful of what we have accomplished here.”