Kevin Trammell’s biggest win as head coach came on the same day as his fundamental coaching error.
He can look back and chuckle now, but the Aquinas boys soccer coach was a nervous wreck at Atlanta International School on May 18.
Trammell thought three goals would be enough to win the state final, but he didn’t expect that total to come so quickly. His team might have relaxed a bit too much because of the three-goal cushion, but it maintained possession late and was saved by keeper Will Doss in a 3-2 win.
The victory gave Aquinas the Class A state title and secured Trammell the honor of being The Augusta Chronicle’s boys soccer coach of the year.
“I told the boys before the game, ‘If we just score three goals on this team, we’re good. We’re fine. There’s no Treway they’re going to come back with our defense,’ ” he said. “I didn’t think we would put three goals up there in 25 minutes.”
It was another one-goal win for the Irish, who won their first state crown since 2005. All four state tournament wins this year came by a single goal.
Aquinas had suffered deflating losses in recent years, including a 4-3 defeat to Thomasville in the Class A-AA state semifinals in 2010.
“They got frustrated with close, tough losses. That’s where a lot of that heart came from,” Trammell said. “It was a special senior group.”
Trammell, an assistant on Aquinas’ 2005 title team, has grown up with soccer. His mother used to be Augusta Prep’s athletic director and was also a coach, so at age 2 there was already a soccer ball at his feet. He later competed at Lakeside and Augusta State.
Now he’s the coach who led Aquinas to a state title.
“They’ve had a tradition here and some good soccer teams that came through,” Trammell said. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”