August 21, 2013 - hen soccer players tried out for the season last week it was for a new, yet familiar face.
Payment (click for larger version)
Clarkston resident Curtis Payment took over as head coach for Clarkston Boys Varsity Soccer team during the spring.
Payment was a club soccer coach exclusively with Michigan Impact in Clarkston and was also the club's goalie instructor. He was assistant coach at Clarkston High School in 2007 and 2008 with the coach at the time, Adam Bican.
Last year he took on his first role as head coach for Lake Orion. When the job opened in Clarkston he chose to apply.
"It was tough," he admitted. "I live in Clarkston. My wife works here and my son goes to school here. These jobs don't open up much. I just had to go for it."
Payment added it is a different but great experience coaching and living in the same community.
"I know a lot of people," he smiled. "It feels like an extended family. It's a great feeling. I am happy. I am glad I was here for the whole summer to help the kids."
A lot of the people includes the soccer players since most of them he has coached at Michigan Impact.
"They are a pretty talented group because of the great work by Michigan Impact," he added. "It looks like year after year we should have talent."
Payment said it does help to know the players.
"I know some of their attributes and some of the mentality of the players," he explained. "It helps to be able to read them a little bit better. It's great but it is also tough. I really try to go in with an open mind and try to put my past ideas behind me and really start new."
He also said coaching at Lake Orion helped, too, because it was his first time taking on the role of head coach.
"Last year I had no idea what I was getting into and the team paid the price for it in the first few weeks of the season as I figured things out," he added. "Walking into this season I had everything structured out. Everything was preplanned and ran real smooth."
The team heads to the Traverse City Invite this weekend before heading to Brother Rice on Monday and Rochester on Tuesday.
His focus for the program is to compete every year in the OAA Red league, which is one of the toughest in the state.
"Our league is brutal," Payment said. "If we are going to be competitive in the league, we should have a successful season."
Another focus is having post season success and bring home more district titles for Clarkston.
Before coaching with Michigan Impact he played at Michigan State University and went to Brandon High School.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.