Soccer is business for Harrison Martin, and business is booming.
For the past 30 years, the 53-year-old Washougal father of three has owned a soccer shop in Portland, Ore., called “The Corner Kick.” He has also coached high school and youth soccer teams in Gresham, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Vancouver and Battle Ground.
“I’ve played soccer my whole life,” Martin said. “Coaching wise, I enjoy being able to teach players. My biggest joy is not only forming a team, but also identifying a player’s strengths and weaknesses, and helping them to get better.”
With this in mind, Martin is excited about becoming the new head varsity girls soccer coach at Washougal High School. He is thrilled with the opportunity to work with upcoming stars in the game, such as Ellie Boon, who scored dozens of goals for the Panthers during her freshman year. He is also looking forward to finding several more players with potential once training starts at the end of summer.
“Our goal will be to work together, gel together and play exciting soccer,” Martin said. “High school soccer is all about preparation, and putting yourself at the right place at the right time. It all starts with the first touch. The way you decide to go determines the pace of the game. We want to be able to control that pace.”
Martin is getting to know soccer players in Camas and Washougal by coaching the WSA Rangers boys U-17 premier team. During the past 14 years that he coached at Battle Ground High School, Martin had several battles of wits with Washougal boys coach John Tyger.
“I’ve seen that the talent level at Washougal is getting better every year. The kids are really coming through for their school and their community,” Martin said. “I cannot wait to meet the new players, and to get the games started. The only thing I ask is that the girls meet the demands of the game, and make a commitment to work hard and give all you got. It’s going to take a while to get everybody used to a new system, but I see a lot of good potential on this team.”