By TIM KOELBLE
11:35 PM EST, December 13, 2012
Lynn Mills has been involved with youth coaching for a good number of years, but the 2012 season was his first venture into the high school ranks.
He made the most of his opportunity as head coach of the Clear Spring boys soccer team, which won the Washington County Public Schools tournament for the first time in school history.
After a win over Boonsboro to open the tournament, Clear Spring fashioned rock-solid wins over tough Williamsport and North Hagerstown teams.
“If I would have bet coming into the beginning of the year on whether we would have beat both Williamsport and North, I would have lost money,” said Mills, whose Blazers finished the season with a county-best 13-3-1 record.
Mills is The Herald-Mail’s 2012 Washington County Boys Soccer Coach of the Year.
Brunswick proved to be a nemesis for the Blazers, pinning a pair of 2-0 losses on them, including in the Maryland Class 1A West region semifinals in which Mills predicted, “The winner of this game will win the state tournament.”
Mills was on the mark as Brunswick claimed the state crown, beating Washington 7-2 to finish the year 17-1-2.
“The season was fantastic and it’s an honor to get this award,” Mills said. “Our goal at the beginning of the year was to shoot for .500. Last year Clear Spring won only five games.”
Mills was surrounded by a mix of seniors and juniors, with a sophomore here and there, and everything came together for the Blazers.
Many of the players were familiar with Mills’ system, which he kept in place when he took over the varsity.
“I had the advantage of many of these players playing in the summer for me,” Mills said. “We kept the same system, the basics and let it go.”
The Blazers had several players reap county honors, including senior forward Corey McClure, named player of the year.
“These boys did way better than expected,” Mills said. “They did so because they played their hearts out.”
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