Log In

Reset Password

Saltzgiver takes over as girls soccer coach

Derek Saltzgiver was in the right place at the right time.

He had just completed a shortened first year as a Wellness and Fitness teacher at Catasauqua Middle School, and a prime opportunity presented itself to him.

A former four-year high school soccer coach in North Carolina - three years boys and one girls - Saltzgiver recently was named the Roughie head girls soccer coach and replaced Chris Hain, who resigned after two seasons.

“I figured I would give it a shot,” said Saltzgiver about the hiring process. “I have been teaching at Catty for a year and felt like I wanted to get back into coaching.”

Saltzgiver was a four-year soccer letter winner at South Western High School in Hanover and later attended East Stroudsburg University. He has played the game since his early youth and has been a longtime youth soccer coach. Over the past year, Saltzgiver was a middle school boys’ basketball coach and a girls’ club soccer coach in Phillipsburg.

Before arriving at Catasauqua, Saltzgiver taught at a charter school in the Lehigh Valley.

“Where I was coaching in North Carolina (Kinston), it is very similar to Catasauqua in size. They would both be in the same district bracket. Soccer wasn’t a top priority because it was a baseball, football, and track school.

“But I am really new to the whole process.”

Saltzgiver has been involved in workouts the past two weeks, and has been impressed.

“From what I have seen so far, it has been very promising,” said Saltzgiver. “There have been many good things.

“I haven’t been able to get a soccer IQ on them yet because of the lack of a scrimmage.”

In North Carolina, Saltzgiver had nine to 11 players on each of his boys’ and girls’ teams. Wins were a premium and it was common to have one to three wins a season.

Saltzgiver will inherit a program that has been to the district semifinals the past two year despite having regular-season losing records.

“Down in North Carolina, we had a lot of first-year players,” said Saltzgiver. “I’m not used to getting girls this experienced.

“Here I had 22 girls sign up and I’ve had 14 to 16 girls at every workout. I have been really pleased with everything. I have heard that there has been a big upswing with this program over the past two years, and I’m really excited to get started.”

Derek Saltzgiver will take over the Catty girls soccer program this fall and have Haleigh Toto as one of the key returning players.