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Jedd Zaring, the head coach of the Jefferson Forest boys soccer program, is the type of leader who deflects attention away from himself. The only limelight he likes is that which is placed on his players.
Zaring is the kind of guy who hates when some sportswriter does a piece that sings his praises.
Too bad. You amass 300 victories coaching in that sport, you have to deal with some unpleasantness along the way. It’s part of the deal.
Zaring earned his 300th win against Heritage the other night. His team did so in the usual JF fashion: It showed plenty of class as it outclassed its opponent.
Zaring, too, has always been classy. But the numbers tell the true story. Here are a few for you to consider.
-Zaring’s record at JF consists of 300 wins, 49 losses and 15 ties.
-The fewest wins his teams have had in a season was 10, and that was in 1993, his very first year at the helm. The most losses? Four.
-An average season looks like this (roughly): 16 wins, 2.5 losses, 1 tie.
-Zaring has coached the Cavs against Staunton River a total of 36 times. In those contests, JF has won 36 times.
-He’s coached against Liberty 45 times, and his team has prevailed in 39 of those contests. Similarly, his teams have beaten Brookville on 39 occasions.
-Fifty-eight of his players have been named to the All-Seminole first team. Most of those players were selected in multiple years.
Still, put all of those superb accomplishments aside. Likewise, try to ignore the obvious care and concern Coach Z has for his players. What I like most about him is this: Win or lose, he’s always the same. At least, he is to me.
His team could have just beaten a Blacksburg or been upset by an Amherst. It doesn’t matter. Zaring would take as much time as I needed as he would walk me through his take on the match.
Calm, cool and always focused on his kids.
He’s as far from a prima donna as you can get in spite of all of the tickets he’s punched.
There’s something else I like about Zaring. He’s built such a tremendous program throughout the Forest area. His influence extends well below the JF varsity team into the JV, B-Team and kids’ leagues.
Long after the coach decides to hang up his whistle, soccer will continue to thrive in Forest.
Certainly, Zaring alone cannot take credit for the strength of soccer in the area. His efforts, though, are certainly one of the proximate reasons for a most soccer-favorable environment in the eastern part of our county.
Now he has 300 wins to show for his efforts, though he’s likely to shrug off that accomplishment.
No doubt, there are more wins in JF’s future, with Zaring at the helm.
How could there not be?