BOONVILLE — After 17 seasons of patrolling the sidelines at Starmount soccer games, Head Coach Dale Draughn is hanging up his whistle and resigning.
Draughn announced his resignation towards the end of the 2013 season, citing his desire to spend more time with his family. He coached his final game in the opening round of the 1A state playoffs last month.
“I am happy, sad, humbled and thrilled all at the same time,” he explained. “This program has been a major part of my life and I am proud of where it is today.
“When I took over the program at SHS 17 years ago, the program had been through several coaches since it was established. I knew it would be a hard job trying to build a program at a ‘football’ school, but we have established a program and put Starmount soccer on the map,” Draughn continued. “I, along with countless others (players, former coaches and alumni), built this program and I know it will continue to be successful in the future with whomever takes over my role as head varsity soccer coach.
“I have enjoyed my 17 seasons, but now it is time to focus on my wife and 4-year-old daughter.”
Draughn has transformed the Rams into a mainstay in the soccer state playoffs, reaching postseason play every year since 1999, including a run to the Elite 8 in 2006. Starmount enjoyed 13 winning seasons during his tenure, posting a total record of 199-134-23.
Several former players reached the collegiate level after graduating from Starmount: Chandler Chappell, Nate Benfield, Mauricio Lopez, Juan Lopez, Ryan Hoilman, Ethan Sloan, Tyler Miller and Michael Prigmore.
“It has not been about the victories, the championships or the wins and losses. It has always been about the young men and women who played for me during my tenure as head varsity soccer coach at Starmount High School,” Draughn added. “I have made some life-long friendships and they have impacted my life immensely. I just hope that I made an impact on their lives as well. I have always tried to have each individual’s and the teams’ best interest at heart.”
Draughn will continue to teach at West Yadkin Elementary School while enjoying his time off.
“I want to say ‘thank you’ to the parents, current players, alumni and administrations during my 17 years at SHS and West Yadkin School for allowing me the opportunity to teach and coach in Yadkin County. I look forward to continuing to teach sixth grade Science and Health at West Yadkin, as well as return to school to attain my degree in either school administration or become a high school guidance counselor,” he said. “I am sure that my wife and daughter have a ‘honey to-do list’ a mile long as well and I look forward to my time off.”
Draughn said he has not ruled out returning to the field as a coach, but it will have to be “the right situation” for him and his family.
“I am not saying that I will not return to coaching, but it will have to be the right situation for me and my family at that time.
“I ‘thank you’ for the wonderful memories — I will take with me as I leave and hang up the whistle for the final time as the head soccer coach at Starmount High School. The future is bright once again for SHS and whomever takes over for me next fall.”
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.