By Sports editor Brian Hoffman
The William Byrd football season isn’t scheduled to begin until February of 2021, but that doesn’t mean head coach Brad Lutz has the fall season off. After supervising workouts at the high school after school he heads out to Vinyard Park to coach another sport.
Lutz is assisting Mike Terrell with the Vinton Ladybugs 10U soccer team. It follows in the tradition of former Byrd coach Jeff Highfill, who coached both football and soccer on the high school level. Only difference is, Brad had to learn on the fly.
“I know very little about soccer, but I do know that working hard and hustling is a part of every sport,” said Lutz. “Mike (Terrell) is a great coach and does an outstanding job teaching our girls the game of soccer. I have picked up a few things from him for sure.”
Brad got involved when his daughter, Cally, was selected to play on the team. While the Ladybugs are five to eight years younger and a different sex, Brad has found that “coaching is coaching.”
“Truthfully, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two,” he said. “All athletes need to learn team work, structure, work ethic and the rewards of competition. Those are valuable lessons for our Terrier football team and the Ladybugs soccer team.”
Watching Lutz on the sidelines, you can see the same passion that he exhibits while coaching the football team. He directs the action on the field and encourages the girls during timeouts with the same zeal the Terrier football players have learned to expect.
“Absolutely,” he replied when asked if he was just as competitive with the little girls. “It’s important for young athletes to learn the game and the values it takes to be successful, but they also have to learn how to be competitive.”
Obviously Brad has to take somewhat of a different approach coaching 10 year old girls. There’s no crying in football, but that’s not necessarily the case in youth soccer.
“I have to talk to them a little differently, but I teach them the same lessons and qualities that I teach our football players,” he said. “They are a great group of girls and are eager to learn. I enjoy coaching youth sports, and it helps keep things in perspective for me.”
Brad has enjoyed coaching with Terrell and hopes to continue the relationship in the future.
“Mike helped create a great basketball experience for my daughter, when we moved here last year,” said Lutz. “I really appreciated that, and I was excited to work with him.
“I’ve been coaching high school sports for 20 years, and I have been fortunate to coach a lot of young men, but I also want to be a part of my own children’s sports experience. I value that my kids have played for numerous coaches, but I enjoy being a part of their experiences, because I miss some things because of my high school coaching responsibilities.”
Brad had more free time when the Virginia High School League moved the football season to the spring due to the pandemic, but he would have helped with the soccer team under normal circumstances as well. The Ladybugs will wrap up their season next Tuesday, November 3rd, and in a normal year the high school football playoffs would be ready to start a week and a half later.
“I have always helped with youth sports, even in the fall,” he said. “With that said, high school football comes first, but I always try to help after our practices and on the weekends.”