Some say that when a bitter taste is left in the mouth, it leaves you coming back for more, time after time.

Ashley Holmes, previous captain of Florida Southern College soccer team, is back due to his love of soccer.

Holmes first came to FSC in 2008. He was an immediate starter on the defensive line, but his soccer career was cut short after an injury.

Starting in all 54 games that he played, Holmes completed his playing career in 2012 as a graduate student.

Unhappy with his exit, Holmes wanted to return to FSC to coach.

“I wasn’t satisfied by the way that it ended last year,” Holmes said. “I had four fantastic years at FSC, then to end it like I did last year, I wasn’t happy.”

Soccer Coach Ryan Sniegoski fields a new squad with a mix of players.

This includes returning players, two captains Luke Jenner and Mitchell Francois and 13 new freshmen coming in. A majority of the freshmen are starting right away.

Holmes has helped the team get off to a solid start to the season, and has him content with the possibilities for the season.

He has been working alongside other assistant coach, Chris Harmon. Harmon played for Sniegoski at Old Dominion when Sniegoski was the Monarchs’ assistant coach.

Coaching is all about teamwork and communication.

“We have a very young team this year,” Holmes said. “It’s all about fitting the pieces together, having everyone healthy. If we do that, I think we can make the conference tournament. I came back because I love what Ryan is doing with the squad.”

A four-year starter at Florida Southern, Holmes was Second Team NSCAA All-South Region in 2010, a First Team Academic All-Region in 2011, and the winner of two NCAA Academic Achievement Awards.

He was twice named Florida Southern’s Most Valuable Player in 2010 and 2012. Holmes is  also the only Moccasin in the program’s 57-year history to be a four-year team captain from 2009 to 2012.

The former soccer captain’s role is not so much involved in the off-field recruiting.

But where he feels most comfortable and has the most fun is the on-field improvements.

Holmes’s role with the team is more focused on the training. He enjoys advising the players in order to better their skills and playing.

“I’m involved a lot on the training side of the sport here right now, not so much in the off-field stuff,” Holmes said, “I love what I’m doing right here, making these guys better at the sport that they love.”

A former all-conference player, Holmes brings experience not just to the Mocs, but the Lakeland community as well.

“I’m doing some other things outside of FSC as well,” Holmes said. “I have my own private lessons and working at the academy here in Lakeland as well.”

After everything that Holmes has contributed this fall so far, the fair question to ask is, how long does he plan to stay?

“As long as I can, but right now, it’s just until Christmas,” Holmes said. “But I’d love to stay and contribute as long as I can.”


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