AYER - There will be a few new faces in Ayer-Shirley athletics this fall. Recently named boys' soccer head coach, Scott Snow, is one of them. Snow comes to the Panthers' soccer program by-way of Dallas, Texas, where he was a two-sport athlete at Garland Catholic High School in both soccer and football.
Snow is a veteran of the Army, where he served in Iraq as a non-commissioned officer. As for his adaptation to the Panthers' soccer program, he is on cloud nine.
"I am enjoying it only after two practices," said a happy Snow. "The job sort of popped up when we were looking for a job for my sister. I love soccer.
"I enjoy playing soccer and I thought my experience as a non-commissioned officer in the military and my time playing college soccer would make me a good coach. It is something I have always wanted to do. It sort of fell in our lap and I said, let's see what happens."
Snow is a graduate of Harding University, a Div. 2 school located in Searcy,Ark., where he played three-seasons as a midfielder with the Bisons soccer program. Snow broke his jaw in his second year during practice. Following the injury, he returned for his junior season and saw limited time.
"That sort of ended my career for the most part," said Snow. "After playing soccer and right before graduating college, I got married. A year later, I joined the Army and in 2008, I went to Iraq."
In 2010, Snow retired from the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan as a civilian defense contractor Upon his return, he took a job in Devens in November of 2012.
"The Ayer-Shirley soccer job sort of popped up," continued Snow. "We have only had two practices because I got hired on very recently. For the most part, they seem to be in reasonably good shape. They are a good group of kids who enjoy soccer and being around each other."
Snow's goal is to teach the Panthers' players how to work hard on every single play, no matter what the score is.
"They have worked really hard for me in the first two practices," Snow said. "I am looking to bring the hard-working aspect of kids. They can have all the talent in the world, but if they don't work hard, they are going to get lazy.
"I am looking to show them how to work really hard and put forth 100 percent effort in every game, no matter if we are winning by 10 or losing by 10. I want kids out there who are going to run, until they can't run any more."
Snow aims to teach his club to start from the back-line with a more possession style offense, similar to that of FC Barcelona of the Champions League.
"My team is really strong in the middle," the coach said. "The center, our fullback, center midfielder and the center-forward are really strong. We are going to try and push everything through them and our role players will fill out the team. I've got some really good role players who will be able to contribute as well."
Not growing up in Massachusetts is a welcomed challenge for the ambitious Snow. The Panthers' soccer community has embraced the new coach with open arm, and even went as far as providing him with scouting reports on some of the returning players.
"I am a new face from the south, it is exciting to be up here in Massachusetts," the coach explained. "I have only got to talk to a few parents. They seem really excited to see what I have to offer as far as coaching their boys in soccer. I have parents that are willing to help. The parents have a lot of faith in the team and are excited to have a new coach in."
In 2012, the Panthers finished with a 2-11-1 mark under then head coach, Mike Donahue, who left the program due to non-school or program related reasons. Ayer-Shirley opens its first game of the Snow era on Sept. 9, at home, against Parker Central Charter School.