Ian Spear, coming from Peru, has a close relationship with the Plattsburgh State soccer team. His dad being the assistant men’s soccer coach, some might say that soccer runs in the family.

Geoff Spear, the assistant coach of the men’s soccer team at PSUC, has been coaching soccer since 1986 in two different coaching stints. Geoff’s experience in coaching his son goes back to when he was coaching him through club sports and smaller environments.

“I think it’s a challenge when coaching a child because you’re not only the coach, but you happened to be, in this case, a dad,” Geoff said. “It’s always got the dynamic, trying to refer to him as a player. You also have to make sure that he understands that you are in a coaching role versus being his dad.”

After being inspired by his father to play soccer, Ian decided to start his soccer career in high school, where he collected five varsity letters and led his team to the finals as a junior by scoring three goals in the final 20 minutes of the championship game.

For Ian, the decision to come to PSUC had to do with the soccer program.

“PSUC had the strongest team and being that my dad was the coach, I knew the players, so I knew the relationship in the locker room was really good,” he said. “I started to play soccer because my parents were big athletes throughout high school and college. My dad was always a soccer coach, and they really pushed toward me playing sports.”

Geoff said it is a challenge having Ian at PSUC because he is trying to treat him like everybody else on the team. He said he hopes Ian is seen as an individual and not just as the coach’s son.

Head coach Chris Waterbury said Ian is a bit of a pit bull in a good way — he has a tough and unique combination of skills on the field.

Even though Ian is a freshman, he knows already that he doesn’t have to play like everyone else on the team to contribute in a positive way.

“Being from the North Country, I definitely bring some grit and physicality,” Ian said. “I also bring good skills and creativity to the sport.”

Email Paige Passman at paige.passman@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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