High school sports is something we perhaps don’t write enough about on Sheepshead Bites. It would be hard for us to get into, considering how little we know about the teams and the characters behind them. Thankfully, Daily News is helping us catch up, most recently with this profile of the Sheepshead Bay High School Sharks’ girls’ soccer coach, Victor Popovsky. The indefatigable team leader is most notable for his double duty, as he’s also coach of the Fontbonne Hall team – but also for helping the Sharks break a 36-match losing streak.
Here’s an excerpt:
“I can’t even imagine how it would be to balance between coaching two teams,” Henderson said of her coach’s double duty. “He manages his time so well and he’s just very dedicated.”
Popovsky says juggling between coaching the two squads is tough, but he’s having fun because the challenge of heading each program in each league is vastly different.
“Fontbonne is my main team,” said Popovsky, who teaches phys. Ed at P.S. 321 in Park Slope during the day. “I have a lot of talented players and they already knew how to play.
“With Sheepshead, I’ve had to work from the beginning, and build up the program from the core,” he added. “It was about teaching a lot of fundamentals, so it’s completely different players and it’s two different worlds.”
… The Russian-born coach, who believes a high-powered offense is more important than a stingy defense, says when coaching a game or practice with one team, he tries his best to have an assistant with the other. Most of the time, however, it’s him.
… he has rejuvenated the Sharks program into believing it can actually do damage in the playoffs.
That’s a far cry from last year, when Popovsky took over the team and tried to make them believe they can win.
“Some of their players had never touched a soccer ball before,” Popovsky said.
He helped the Sharks snap a 36-match losing streak last season and the few players who returned this year, came back with confidence.