If first impressions are everything, Todd Moniz left quite the mark at West Harrison.
The Sun Herald Girls Soccer Coach of the Year took over a program that, while experiencing moderate success, hadn't made the deep post-season push that so many around the program yearned for.
That changed this year when Moniz guided the Lady Hurricanes to the program's first Class 5A South State title.
Although the team came up just short to Oxford in the finals, Moniz can be proud of his team's accomplishments.
"It's a talented team, not just (All-South Mississippi selections) Summer (Hansen) and Gabby (Vincent) but everyone," he said. "It took us a while to get going. There was a bit of a getting to know one another period and once we did get to know one another we were able to play well and had confidence in one another. The girls trusted each other and trusted the system.
"Towards the end of the season it kind of worked for us."
The Lady Hurricanes also boasted a stifling defense that didn't allow a single goal to region opponents.
"I always look for a strong defensive core for my teams," Moniz said of his team, which didn't allow a single goal to region opponents. "Outside of that, we were a team that possessed the ball well. We had skill players who were able to pass and move the ball and we tried our best to control the ball for most of the game."
West Harrison's 17-4-3 record included post-season wins over Provine, South Jones and West Jones.
Looking ahead, Moniz, the third coach in as many years at West Harrison, said he hopes to add stability to the program. He's also excited about the team's potential next season after graduating just three seniors.
"I feel confident about the future. Summer is certainly going to be hard to replace. We had some other seniors who contributed, too," he said. "It's nice to know we'll have a significant amount of returning players who had a significant amount of playing time this year.
"I feel good about our chances. Hopefully we can grow on the success we had."