New Owatonna High School girls' soccer coach Nate Gendron has had a love for the game for nearly as long as he can remember. He had a soccer ball on his foot as a young tyke and watched his older cousin play in college. Gendron turned that love for the game into being a player at youth levels and as a three-year varsity player in Owatonna. He also played a year at Gustavus Adolphus College, before transferring to Luther College, where he played at the club level.

Gendron wanted to continue to be around the game after his playing career ended so he started coaching with the Owatonna Soccer Association. That led to a position as the girls' varsity assistant for the Huskies for the last five years under coach Matt Roddy, who stepped down after last season after about ten years on the job. Gendron had a goal of coaching at the varsity level and now that's been achieved.

 

 

Gendron likes that Owatonna athletes are encouraged to be diverse between participating in multiple sports and being involved in other activities and fine arts. He says the local soccer community benefits from a strong youth organization and the high school programs get better by playing bigger Twin Cities teams.

The Huskies will graduate heavily from the 2017 team which earned the top seed in the section but got upset in the semifinals by Farmington. OHS will return a pair of proven scorers with Grace Wolfe and Jordan Whalen. Other regulars that will be back on the pitch at Lincoln in the fall include Kiley Friedrichs, Asia Bursyka, Cassie Trout and Kaia Elstad.