CornerKICKS: Coach ejected before first game embarrassing for community and school district

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CornerKICKSJoe Trost, columnist

“No comment.”

While that wasn’t the exact response countless soccer coaches, athletic directors and school administrators throughout the Chicagoland area had, they all were utterly disgusted and stunned when learning about a high school girls varsity soccer coach being ejected from a junior varsity match to start the 2019 campaign.

“No comment” was the short response St. Charles East athletic director Mike Sommerfeld provided on Tuesday when asked about coach Vince DiNuzzo’s ejection back in early March.

Standing behind one of the goals, DiNuzzo started to lay into one official during his program’s junior varsity match against Fremd. He was later ejected and not allowed to coach his team’s opening-season match. The official will not go back to the school again, as long as DiNuzzo is head coach.

Having covered prep sports for just a little bit of time now, it’s the first moment I can ever recall a varsity soccer coach being ejected during a junior varsity match. Many longtime area soccer coaches couldn’t recall a unforgettable moment like that either.

With Illinois suffering a shortage of high school soccer officials, mainly due to behavior like DiNuzzo’s, it makes you wonder if some have lost the overall perspective of what high school athletics are all about.

In 20 years, no one will remember the record of this St. Charles East team, how many combined goals they scored or who the coach of the year was in the area. But I promise they’ll recall the time a head coach wasn’t able to be on his team’s bench for the season opener, because he was ejected for yelling at officials during a junior varsity match.

If the Jackass movie series needs a new lead clown for its next film, I – and many other school leaders – know the perfect person.

LONG OVERDUE: Jamie (Wasielewski) Caruso will be the first female soccer player inducted into the Joliet Hall of Fame on April 18. One of the most talented playmakers in Illinois High School Association history, Caruso was a four-year star on the combined Joliet (Central and West) program, which was a power in the old SICA West in 2000.

The midfielder, who played club for Windy City Pride, recorded more than 100 goals and 50 assists during her standout career and later went on to star at Loyola University.

Caruso coached high school soccer at Waldorf in Chicago and Plainfield East, before retiring three years ago to spend time with her family.

REMEMBER THIS NAME: Willow Academy sophomore Ashleigh Fischer. The Hawthorn Woods native is a rising star in the 2021 class.

A SLEEPING GIANT: Year after year, many have wondered why the Glenbard West soccer program cannot find a long-term engaged leader for its soccer program, which has a solid local club to support it. The boys and girls head positions are open once again. Interested candidates should email athletic director Joe Kain at joseph_kain@glenbard.org.

DID YOU KNOW? Former DePaul University men’s soccer coach Craig Blazer, who spent 17 years coaching on the Lincoln Park campus, is the new head boys soccer coach at Fenwick.

CornerKICKS will appear on Sundays. Contact Joe Trost at joetrost@gmail.com.

Bio on columnist: Joe Trost was an award-winning writer at Star Newspapers, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and ESPN.com. Locally, he is a three-time statewide IHSSCA Media Person of the Year and founder of the PepsiCo Showdown, the largest high school sports series in the U.S.

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