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Petz returns to St. Thomas Aquinas as head soccer coach

By Nikisun Shrestha
On April 11, 2017

Joseph Petz

Former university student Joseph Petz has returned to St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School as the 2017-18 boys’ soccer coach. Petz, who is a 2012 graduate of the high school, always believed in a return to serve his alma mater.

“When I first began coaching, my goal was to eventually return to St. Thomas,” said Petz. “While I won’t say it was my ‘dream’ per se to coach high school soccer, I am extremely proud to return to St. Thomas and be a part of a great program.”

Petz hopes to improve the STA soccer program as well as the players of the program. He wants his team to play on a consistent level and targets several state championships during his reign.   

“Every season I meet with my team and together we set goals for ourselves and for the team,” said Petz. “My personal goal is always to help develop my team into better soccer players but more importantly into better men. My personal ambition is win several state championships with STA and re-establish them as a powerhouse in Louisiana soccer. As I said before, I want to bring STA back to being a powerhouse year in and year out not just a one off team that has one good year followed by three to four year slump.”

Petz also explains his previous coaching experience.

“I spent the last four years coaching at Hammond High,” said Petz. “I was the assistant the first year and served as head coach for the next three years. I also coached a travel team out of Covington. I enjoy high school soccer much more due to the passion and difficulty that comes with training and bringing together athletes that range from 14 to 18 years old.”

In Hammond High Magnet School, he led the Hammond Tornados to three straight playoff appearances. The first playoff appearance was their first in 20 years. Petz looks fondly at the times spent in Hammond.

“Hammond High was always a stepping stone for me in regards to coaching,” said Petz. “However, when I took over as head coach, I realized that there was a great deal I could learn from the players, parents and experience as a whole, be that good or bad. I take great pride in what we achieved at Hammond High, and when I say we I mean myself and all of the players I have coached. I may have put them on the field but at the end of the day they are the ones that go out and put their bodies on the line for their school and for me. There were many ups and a few downs to me tenure at HHS but I will always look back on that time with fondness and absolutely zero regrets.”

Petz describes how his love for soccer began and how his playing career took shape during high school.

“I have been playing soccer since I was seven years old,” said Petz. “However, I did not start to play competitively until the 8th grade. My main motivation was my high school coach John Cox. He is a huge reason for my development as a player and coach. All throughout high school I was heavily involved in various soccer teams. I played four years of varsity soccer for STA. I also played for a competitive travel team out of Mandeville. I would often travel around the southeast playing in various states. I always looked forward to the high school season because I would play with my friends that I had grown up with and it was much greater sense of pride for me when I played for STA.”

During his playing days in STA, he was captain of the varsity team in his junior and senior year. He also had the honor of playing with and against two Major League Soccer players Andrew Tarbell and Patrick Mullins. 

Petz shares some of his favorite players and coaches in professional soccer.

“Thierry Henry is my favorite player,” said Petz. “I have always admired Arsene Wenger for his style of play but if I had to choose a favorite professional coach it would have to be Sir Alex Ferguson. His ability to win championships and inspire his players is legendary.”

At the university, Petz had multiple majors including kinesiology, business management and history. Petz explains his future plans, and he wishes to be involved with STA soccer for years to come.    

“My first goal was to become the head coach at STA, so for now I’m focusing on the job in front of me,” said Petz. “In the future, who knows what will happen, but I plan of being at St. Thomas for a long time.”

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