Polk County assistant boys soccer coach Rogelio Najera has been named the North Carolina 1A Assistant Coach of the Year by the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association.
Najera was one of five assistants across the state honored by the NCSCA.
Polk County head coach Josh Trejo wrote the following about Najera:
Rogelio has done a tremendous job for the boys soccer program. I got the job of being the head coach four years ago and had to find an assistant coach. I have known Rogelio since high school and knew that he was currently working for a local gym as a trainer. I knew that Rogelio had no soccer experience, but I knew that he could work with the boys on fitness, agility, strength and conditioning.
Rogelio, over the four years, has learned so much about the game. He took pride in being a soccer coach. Rogelio was hired to be the JV head coach and varsity assistant. I remember Rogelio bringing me ideas and practice plans to run with his team. I was truly impressed with the thought he put behind his drills. He always tried to implement skills that would get them ready for the varsity team. Never once did he ever feel that training these players was an obligation. He found joy, he looked forward to it every day.
Moving on to this season, he had so many things on his plate. He was stressed because he was going to have to skip this season because his wife was expecting a child in August. So, the returning players were upset to hear the news that we would be missing Coach Rogelio this season. And, to be honest, I was very upset as well. But, with COVID-19 hitting the world, our lives had changed from normal. They pushed our season back and Rogelio was able to continue to coach. Due to numbers, we weren’t able to have a JV team, so Rogelio’s sole role was to be the varsity assistant.
Rogelio’s roles throughout the season… Rogelio would meet with the trainers daily and get information on players and how to rehabilitate each individual player so that they could get on the field quicker. It was like having an assistant coach that was also an athletic trainer. He would wrap each player, put Kinesiology tape on players, evaluate injuries and provide all soccer specific workouts. But, this season he offered more.
He had to step up in many situations this season because of COVID-19 quarantine protocol. I was quarantined four times this season due to working at a middle school and Rogelio had to step up and coach the team solo this season. We would Facetime at night and he would want to make sure he was implementing the plan for these players to be successful. All eyes were on him to do well.
I remember when I got quarantined one hour before our second conference game. Rogelio had to coach the game, he called during the game to get information on how I wanted them to play. It was a tough game and a tough situation Rogelio was in. We lost that match, and after the game Rogelio drove to my house.
He was almost in tears, he was upset that he felt that he let everyone down, let the players, parents, and he said, ‘I let you down, Trejo.’
So to conclude, Rogelio, you have not let anyone down. You have inspired, you have prevailed, you have conquered. Coach, it’s your character, your morals that push you to always give 100 percent in anything you do. I am extremely proud and honored to have coached beside you. Congratulations on being named North Carolina State Assistant Coach of the Year. Thank you friend for everything, and I can’t wait to see what your future holds.