Coach Urioste’s efforts pay off

June 9, 2023


Abdullah Aljirafi

The RM boys pose for a picture after the game.

Everyone was talking about it. After a disappointing season for many of RM’s fall sports teams, one team had defied the odds and brought home a regional championship. Despite being 3-4-1 just weeks before and their hopes of making a deep run in the playoffs almost crushed, the boy’s soccer team persevered to pull off an amazing upset win. After beating the number one seed, Churchill, in the semifinal in overtime, the team was set up to face Whitman for the regional title. RM and Whitman fans packed the stands and were loud supporters. In an exciting game, RM defeated Whitman 4-3 in penalties. As the game came down to an intense penalty shootout, JV goalie call-up Solomon Snowdy was a saving grace for the team, and shooters such as Robert Boychen and Khalid Aljarafi secured the win. Rockets fans raced onto the field, and the screams “Vamos Rockets” could be heard all around. While the players are one part of the success, the coaching behind them is just as important. Coaching close games like those do not come easy and takes a lot of focus and knowledge of the game. RM was lucky to have a coach who could handle this type of pressure. A now praised coach for his success,  Coach Brian Urisote was the man behind these wins.

Urioste grew up in Bethesda and played Division 1 soccer at Campbell University before becoming a teacher and high school coach. The players on the team have great appreciation and respect for Coach Urioste, and are grateful for what he helped them accomplish this year. Players described him as magnificent, determined and focused. Many of the players have a close relationship with Coach Ursiote, which helped them be successful as a team. “Coach [Urioste] really created a family atmosphere this year. We were a team and fought for each other as brothers on the field.” Senior Robert Boychn said. He feels this aspect separates them from other teams.  

Down the stretch, Urisote continued to motivate his players and keep them calm and focused before the big games. “He looked at me straight in the face telling me that there was more to it than to be anxious, than to be free and play my game, no one else’s,” sophomore D’angelo Reyes said about Urisote’s words ahead of the important moments. Keeping the team focused was a crucial part in winning the games.  “Coach also reminded us what was on the line and the fact that we had the ability to make RM history.” Boychn said. The regional title was the first for boys soccer at RM, adding even more importance and pressure to the games. 

 Winning these games was not luck, as it took a lot of decision making and strategy by Coach Urisote for his team. Key points such as deciding who should shoot the penalty shots or how they would attack the other team were crucial moments in the team’s success. “He played an instrumental role in our success this season, his tactical expertise allowed us to defeat high level teams.” Junior Jordy Villanueva said. As a lower-ranked team, a specific game plan for each match was necessary to succeed. “He knew how to balance whole team tactics with letting those especially talented shine.” Sophomore goalie Max Sobel said. 

Many students around RM feel that Coach Brian deserves to be chosen as coach of the year for 2022-2023. His players saw first hand the dedication and effort that he put into his team. “He has given his all to this program and even this year he stuck with it through difficulties including switching jobs and raising his kid,” Boychn said. Coach Urisote achieved something that seemed near impossible at one point and created a sense of pride for RM that the school had lacked all fall season. “I think the results speak for themselves, out of every sports team we were able to win regionals without the “most” talented group of kids.” Villanueva said. 

Urisote took an underdog team and led them to a title, capping off a season that will be remembered forever. 


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