WTHS girls soccer coach wins Coach of the Year

Coach Bill Alvaro was awarded South Region Coach of the Year by the New Jersey Girls Soccer Coaches Association after holding the head coach position for just three years.

Washington Township High School girls soccer coach Bill Alvaro received the South Region Coach of the Year award from the New Jersey Girls Soccer Coaches Association.

Alvaro, who became head coach in 2014 after coaching JV for 14 years, said the honor wouldn’t have been possible without the girls on his team.

“We were trying to get back to where we used to be, soccer-wise, and this group of girls that we have, have been unbelievable and that’s the only reason that I was able to even get an award like this. They’ve been great for the last three years,” Alvaro said. “I try to work as hard as I can to keep up with them. I’m at that point that I don’t want to let them down because I know how hard they work.”

The Minutemaids finished the season with an overall record of 16–4–4, and tied for the Olympic Conference title for the first time in 10 years, according to Alvaro. The team also made it to the finals of the SJSCA Coaches Tournament but lost in penalty kicks, and fell short in the second round of the state tournament.

“We were ranked in the top three of South Jersey, and top 15 of the state all year. They were really consistent and they bought into everything that we wanted to do here to get this program back to where it was,” Alvaro said. “They try to improve everything that might be seen as a weak point everyday, and when they go out on the field, they really want to win. You have some groups that play hard but they don’t have that desire to win. This group has that desire to win.”

Alvaro is a graduate of Washington Township High School, where he played soccer, baseball and basketball. He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana on a baseball scholarship. In the fall of 2000, Alvaro was hired at Washington Township High School as a special education math and science teacher. In 2011, he was inducted into the Washington Township Sports Hall of Fame for baseball and soccer. Along with coaching girls soccer, Alvaro is also the head baseball coach for the high school.

“Coach Alvaro is to be commended for an outstanding 2016 girls soccer season at WTHS. It is fitting that the NJGSCA has recognized his season and efforts,” Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Kevin Murphy said.

“We need to finish what we started this year,” Alvaro said on what’s to come next fall. “I say that because we have almost everyone back; we have 16 or 17 returning varsity letter winners, and most of them were starters. We got a good taste, and we got really close to a lot of things. Knowing these girls, they want to go to another level.”

Among the returning players, three were also recognized at the association’s banquet on Jan. 22. Breana Winder, a junior defender, received honorable mention for all-south region. Natasha Munro, a sophomore forward, was chosen for first team all-South region. Emily Gray, a junior midfielder, was selected for first team top 20 all-state, and first team all-Northeast region.