Cutting the competition

Denisse Leyva, new junior varsity soccer coach and Etowah teacher, prepares her lineup for this year’s girls soccer tryouts.

“I am really excited to see what she is going to bring this season,” Maggie Bradley, sophomore, said.

Tryouts are only a month away, and Leyva has already started thinking about what her team will look like. As the girls practice to gain a spot on the team, skill and speed are not the only traits she is looking for, but love for the game.  

“More than anything have a heart in playing [soccer], I feel like any player with a heart [. . .] can be great,” Leyva said.  

Leyva grew up kicking the ball from an early age with older family and friends. Leyva often planned  small games and challenges with them. Over time, she grew to love coaching even more than playing.

“I saw a ball, started kicking it around,[and]  playing with my cousins [. . .] [playing] came out of nature,” Leyva said.

Leyva realized  her passion for coaching through her love of helping and watching the game. Leyva has coached other teams before including a fourth grade boys team and an older boys team at Georgia Rush in Alpharetta.  

“She is going to do great things for the team to lead them to be better,” Marcy Bradley, freshman, said.

Along with coaching, Leyva teaches Algebra I, Foundations of Algebra, and Geometry. She sees teaching as another way to help and inspire kids.

“She is a good teacher, and she always wants the best for her student,” Maria Garcia, sophomore, said.

As the soccer season begins, Leyva laces up her cleats in preparation for tryouts and the new season ahead.