Former Park City girls soccer coach Micaela Carriel won the Double-Goal Coaches Award
When Micaela Carriel took over as head coach of the Park City High School girls soccer program three years ago, she couldn’t have imagined that any awards or accolades that might come her way.
A major part of Carriel’s philosophy as a coach was much more than just translating skill on the soccer field to wins and losses: it was also about taking young girls and helping them transition into strong and independent women.
“With everything going on in high school, we are way more than just about athletics and that’s part of what we focus on,” Carriel said. “With female athletes it’s especially important to cover everything. … It’s about character building, it’s about nutrition because a lot of female athletes don’t know how to properly eat, and most importantly it’s about being leaders in their community and classroom.”
In accordance the Positive Coaching Alliance, a national youth sports nonprofit, awarded Carriel a Double-Goal Coaches regional honor.
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“It was a definitely surprise to me, like I had no idea about the award until they told me that I’d won,” Carriel said. “I was very emotional, very surprised and honored by the fact that a group of 14-18 year-old girls and their families took time out of their lives to do this. I really think it’s a tangible representation that you’re coaching is catching is on.”
According to Carriel, Thomas Cook and the Kaiserman family were the ones that spearheaded all of this. A trio of players — Hannah Krieg, Carina Cook and Anna Kaiserman — originally found out about the award, and then set about making it happen by contacting teammates, family members and people in the community to help nominate Carriel.
“I remember Thomas (Cook) calling me and telling me, ‘Don’t ask questions but somebody is going to call you about a background check, so just do it’,” Carriel said. “I wasn’t allowed to ask questions, so when I got the call, I did it. I was curious and didn’t know what was going on. … But when I sort of find out what it was, I remember thinking it was awesome.”
Unfortunately Carriel did not win one of the 25 national awards handed out from those 100 regional winners, but it’s hardly upsetting. In fact, she believes she already won just by being nominated.
“Obviously, to win nationally would’ve been great, but I already won when the girls and the community took time out of their lives to consider me for something as special as this,” Carriel said. “I’m honored that they recognized what I was trying to do by creating a positive and athletic environment for the girls. We focused on the big characteristics of teaching them to be young, strong women. … It’s more than I could ever ask for.”
However, prior to notification of winning, Carriel resigned from her role as head coach in November following the conclusion of the season.
“I didn’t feel like as a coach, I was being supported in a way that’s necessary to build a positive program as a whole,” Carriel said. “I also didn’t think the athletes were getting supported in a way for them to be successful as well.”
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It’s going to be at least another month before Summit County’s high school athletes have any chance of getting onto the field again.