WAXAHACHIE — The Texas High School Soccer Coaches Association honored Waxahachie High School Head Girls' Soccer Coach Jason Venable last Friday for a historic win two years ago.
"It is a culmination of 24 years coaching at four great school districts — Ennis, Midlothian, Grapevine-Colleyville, and Waxahachie," Venable said. "Of those 24 years, 21 have been spent as head soccer coach. Having coached both boys and girls, I have been blessed to see them all grow up. I got the opportunity to help them grow, but they helped me grow, too. Once I received the plaque, more than 70 former players sent me messages to congratulate me by text and social media. I have truly been blessed and know these young men and women are the reason for this award and I got to be a part of their efforts and determination to represent their schools."
On March 2, 2015, Megan Gaither, Abigail Martinez and the Lady Indians beat Arlington Seguin High School 2-1 at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium and helped Venable claim No. 400. He currently sits at 425 wins with 336 of those were earned in kelly green and white.
The THSCA, which supports hundreds of schools in the Lone Star State, caught wind of the achievement early September last year and reached out to Venable to honor a rare achievement in the realm of high school sports.
"Although a couple of years later, it is a great honor as THSCA gives career victory plaques at 200 and 400," Venable said."The win in itself was big in getting us into the playoffs in 2015, but that win also made me realize what we have done in Waxahachie to become a respected program in the region of and the state."
Venable coached in Midlothian from 1993 to 1997 and 1998 to 2001, in Ennis from 1997 to 1998 and Colleyville from 2001 to 2003. Since 2003, he has served as a head coach in boys' and girls' cross country and soccer.
When the first team took the field when the girls' soccer program began in 2000, he said the Lady Indians lacked an identity in the school, community, region or state despite the success of our men and women programs in sports like baseball, football, softball and volleyball. The Lady Indians reached the regional quarterfinal round of the University Interscholastic League 4A playoffs for the first time in school history in 2005 — two years after his arrival.
"The hard work those girls, in the beginning, put in didn't only put Waxahachie girls' soccer on the map," Venable said. "It also began a legacy the teams at WHS have continued to thrive on since the turn of the millennium."
Waxahachie's longest-tenured soccer coach has a total overall record of 423-212-80. As the Indian boys' coach, he went 206-154-47 in 11 years. He's gone 217-58-13 in 12 as the girls' coach between 2005 and 2017.
Under Venable, the Lady Indians have reached the area round 10 times, the regional quarterfinal round eight times and the regional semifinal round five times. His teams won five district championships turning that period. That includes four consecutive titles between 2011 and 2014.
To Waxahachie's grizzled sideline leader, though, a coach is nothing without the players that take the field and spill gallons of sweat and tears. Venable said he is just along for the ride.
"When I saw the plaque, a ton of memories crossed my mind. There were wins, losses, tears and conversations, but the faces of my former players came to my mind more than anything," Venable said. "Having coached so many players in my career, I took the time to feel blessed to have had the opportunity to mentor them and see them grow into the men and women they have become or are becoming. The games and wins in all three school districts are happy memories for me. They are ones I will never forget."
Marcus S. Marion, @MarcusMarionWNI