Coach Fjell shows passion for supporting athletes


During the girls varsity game against West, head girls soccer coach Sara Fjell looks for senior Nydia Clarke to sub into the game. “You kind of try to match up your personnel with your opponent’s personnel,” Fjell said. “The goal is to have everyone playing at the same high level on the field so as long as we can kind of eliminate some of those small weaknesses along the way.” Photo by Diego Vasquez Glover

Diego Vasquez Glover, Reporter

After a back and forth between teams stuck in a 0 to 0 game, girls soccer athletes approached the opposing goal and closely missed; head soccer coach Sara Fjell gave a quick kick to the ground and   started taking mini-hops with both of her fists clenched.

“I’m super competitive; you can ask any of my former or my current players, I was always a competitive athlete myself, just love to play the game, love to compete, don’t like to lose,” Fjell said.

Getting to her current status of head girls soccer coach took many years of being a student athlete herself, which inspired her passion for staying as East’s coach for a total of 15 years.

“So I was a varsity letter winner in high school for soccer and basketball and then I played college soccer at Doane University, and I played four years there, captain of my senior year. I always knew I was going to be a part of coaching probably because I just loved the game and I loved working with girls and just loved being a part of that atmosphere,” Fjell said.

Being a part of that atmosphere has allowed Fjell to expand in working with her athletes outside of being soccer players, and has helped her form relationships throughout the years in giving advice to students, which in turn helps students to grow. The 2019 NSAA manual states that aside from educational based activities, it is possible for students to learn from settings outside the traditional academic classroom.

“All of the girls that come in before school, come after school, they might just come in to talk about stuff that’s going on, they might come in to just ask for advice, I just try to always try to do that for my girls cause I know that I want them not only to just be good soccer players but just good people,” Fjell said.

For her current team, there is much growth waiting to be expanded upon in the next few years with freshman, leaving Fjell excited to for the current on season.

“Right now we’re three and three [wins vs. losses], we have of our 11 kids that play, we have six freshman that start, so it’s going be really fun to see what that freshman class is going to do over the next four years,” Fjell said.

Senior Morgan Sautter describes what soccer coach Fjell can be like when playing for her during games.

“She’s very compassionate, and really competitive. She always wants the best for us but she also knows that we can do better,” Sautter said.

The relationships created between coach Fjell and her soccer athletes, senior Hannah Madison explains how Fjell is there for any students wanting to speak to her or even get some advice.

“She’s basically the soccer mom, she’s always there like if we’re having a problem or a bad day she’ll listen. She’s basically like a counselor,” Madison said.