Todd Abbey to Lead PHS Boys' Soccer Program
A successful first season as the head coach of the Pinecrest girls' soccer team has earned Todd Abbey the opportunity to lead the Patriot boys.
The 1994 Pinecrest graduate was named the interim coach of the girls' team in February, replacing Larry Martin who was relieved of his coaching duties for both the boys' and girls' teams in November.
The Patriot girls lost three of their first four matches before going on to win their 12th conference title in a row and compile an overall record of 18-5. On Tuesday, they came within two penalty kicks of defeating New Hanover in an overtime shootout. A win would have advanced them to the fourth round of the state playoffs for the second time in the history of the program.
"From his performance with the girls' team," Pinecrest Athletic director Ernie Purnsley said on Friday, "we felt like we had the right person to coach the boys."
A four-year soccer player at Pinecrest, Abbey went on to play at Westchester University (Pa.) before transferring to Western Carolina where he completed his degree in sports management. He held positions at soccer clubs in North Carolina and Virginia before returning home to Moore County where he is currently executive director of the Sandhills Futbol Club. He lives in Pinehurst with his wife Tiffany, and two children, Jaidyn and Ayla.
Abbey took over the girls' position just a week before the start of official practices. He looks forward to having more time to get ready for the boys' campaign that begins in August.
The Patriot boys will have a strong contingent of returnees from the 2008 team that finished 20-3-3 under Martin. They lost to New Hanover in the final seconds of regulation of a fourth round playoff match. The two Patriot jayvee squads also enjoyed successful seasons, providing a large pool of talent to select this year's team from.
Martin's boys' teams went 225-62-24 in 14 seasons, winning 12 consecutive conference titles.
"There are going to be high expectations of me, " Abbey says. "I've worked with some of the boys and really like their attitudes. They know what they have to do to get to the next step and have a feeling of desperation to do it."
The experience of watching the Patriot girls evolve from their early struggles to become a strong playoff team helped make the decision to accept the boys' position an easy one. "It was good to know after the girls' season that they wanted me back," he says. "Plus, it's my alma mater, and anything in my power that I can do for them, I will."
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