THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Head Coach Keith Gwatlney has accomplished a lot in his time as the Thomasville boys soccer head coach.
In his ninth season, the championship title drought ended.
But, not everyone wearing the state champ shirts will be on the field for the 2020 season.
“Soccer. This sport was such an adrenaline rush,” said Gwaltney.
After 12 years with the Bulldogs, Gwaltney is saying goodbye.
Passing the reigns on to assistant coach, Robert Peterson.
WALB spoke on the phone with Peterson earlier, he told us this is exactly where he wants to be.
“I mean I love the kids. They work hard, obviously their hard work paid off this season. But, it’s just a great group of kids, it’s a great program,” said Peterson.
In their two years together they built a state championship team.
But, it wasn't easy.
The team was small and young.
But, Peterson and Gawltney knew it was the quality of the player that'd make the difference.
“I think you try to build the program like it’s been going, hopefully those numbers increase. But, you coach who shows up and you want the ones who show up to be fully committed like the ones that we have,” said Peterson.
With this chapter of his life coming to an end Gwaltney remembers why he started.
"Every year was special. I came out of a lot of one goal games even on the losing side saying, “Man, that was a great game to be a part of.” But you know the relationships you make with the kids, that was the main reason why I wanted the head coaching job,” said Gwaltney.
Now, Peterson will try to continue what they've built together.
“Build a program that’s one of the best in the state and continue the success that Thomasville’s already had. Hopefully that will lead to more wins and more interest in the program,” said Peterson.
Now the search for a new assistant coach begins.