Fruita hires new coaches for lacrosse, girls soccer
A few years ago, Eric Anderson led the Mesa State College men’s soccer team to its first winning season.
Now, the former Mavericks’ star hopes to lead the Fruita Monument High School girls soccer program back to prominence.
Fruita Monument announced Anderson, 24, as the girls’ soccer head coach Thursday.
“Everything impressed us (about Anderson),” Fruita Monument Athletic Director Denny Squibb said. “He’s been a winner as an athlete. He is a confident young man. I think he’ll be successful.”
Anderson has coached in the Grand Junction Youth Soccer organization since the spring of 2008. He was an assistant coach for Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah, last spring.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” Anderson said. “The opportunity came and I jumped on it. I did well when I played (at Mesa) and I think that helped me get the job.”
Anderson, originally from Logan, Utah, led the Mavericks’ new program to a winning record in its first season (7-6-4).
He played for Mesa State in 2007 and 2008. He holds the school career record in points (40), goals (17) and game-winning goals (5). He started 36 of 38 games played. He set the single-season school record in points (28), goals (12), game-winning goals (3), shots attempted (65) and shots on goal (24). He was an All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference team.
Anderson has coached several girls club teams the past two years, including several of the girls at Fruita Monument.
He takes over for Tracy Burke, who was not retained. The Wildcats finished 1-13-1 last season.
“I’m hoping to improve the record,” Anderson said. “I hope the girls are excited that I can help them. I hope to teach them some soccer skills.”
The Fruita Monument girls lacrosse program also landed a new head coach in Jamie Pie-track.
Pietrack was coaching the Eagle Valley girls lacrosse program the past two seasons before a move to the Fruita 8/9 school opened up the chance to take over the Fruita Monument program.
Last season, the Wildcats won both games against Eagle Valley.
“I’m really optimistic,” Pietrack said. “From what I remember, they liked to run and have a lot of talent on both sides.”
Pietrack takes over for Lenny Lang, who was a last-minute fill-in for the Wildcats’ girls program last season. In the 2010 season, the Wildcats won three of their first four games, but struggled down the stretch to a 6-7 record.
Pietrack said she’s going to push an up-tempo style of play.
“We want to make sure we are creating and taking good shots,” Pietrack said. “We want to push it up the field as fast and accurately as we can.”
The Wildcats have to replace two-year starting goalie Stephanie Long, who graduated.
“I know we lost (Long) and she was really good,” Pietrack said. “So we’ll have to reestablish that position because it’s such an important part of the field.”
The girls lacrosse season doesn’t begin official practice until February, but Pietrack said she’s going to start holding open gyms to get to know her players.
“I want to get to know these athletes, and know how I can make them better,” Pietrack said.