High schools: Melendez has Spartans clicking
Fargo North boys soccer coach Jon Melendez has studied the game from an early age. However, Melendez admits he wasn't always able to pass along his knowledge with great success early in his coaching career. "In the early days I got a little too c...
Fargo North boys soccer coach Jon Melendez has studied the game from an early age.
However, Melendez admits he wasn't always able to pass along his knowledge with great success early in his coaching career.
"In the early days I got a little too complex tactically," he said. "And I didn't always get great results. I learned through these years of coaching to keep it simple."
North (6-2-4) is in second place in the Eastern Dakota Conference a season after missing out on the state tournament. The Spartans were 6-10-3 last season.
Melendez said his team has rebounded nicely from early-season losses to Fargo Shanley and West Fargo.
"Right now, everybody is within one point in the conference," Melendez said. "My boys know every game for us is going to be do-or-die. We have to be at our best every time we step out on the soccer field."
Melendez honed his love of soccer while growing up in Chile, a soccer-crazed country on the west coast of South America.
He moved to the United States at 13.
Melendez's coaching philosophy blends South American and North American soccer together to form a defensive, possession oriented game.
But, most important, everything is built around the fundamentals in Melendez's world.
"I try to bring a little more controlled soccer," he said. "Sometimes we take a look at all these athletes that get in our programs and we say 'You are fast, we're just going to pass you the ball.'"
Melendez's coaching style worked perfectly as the head coach of the West Fargo girls. Still the coach of the Packers, Melendez helped the team to capture school's first state championship last season.
And that was as a No. 4 seed in the tournament.
Melendez is hoping to bring some of that same magic to North.
"When I took over the program, I knew that North had a big history of soccer," said Melendez, in his second season with the Spartans. "(The kids) know what we want to accomplish. They know they have the tools."
Odds and ends
The North Dakota East Region Class A boys golf tournament has been moved from Grand Forks to Edgewood Golf Course in Fargo. The tourney will be played on June 1. The state tournament was also moved to June 8 and 9 at Edgewood. ... The West Fargo football team has not allowed a score in the first quarter through four games. Ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, the Packers defense has allowed just three touchdowns all year.
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