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Coach Jed Lacey gets 200th win at DCHS
Lacey mug
Coach Jed Lacey - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

With an undeniable passion for soccer, particularly Dawson County High School soccer, Coach Jed Lacey has committed himself completely to the program-and the results are obvious.

Lacey got his 200th win with the program last weekend when the team traveled to Savannah.

And to say he was pleased would no doubt be an understatement.

Lacey has even said his dream is to die on the field one day after winning a state title.

"This is what I do for life. I coach soccer," he said. "I never could retire. I wake up and I think about how to get this team better."

The win came on March 10 when the Lady Tigers defeated Richmond Hill, a 6A program.

"That was pretty exciting," Lacey said. "It was pretty cool. It was important for me."

Prior to Lacey's arrival at DCHS, the soccer teams had not had a winning season.

Since his start in 2008, the only season without double digit wins was his first year with the girls when the team went 8-6 in 2011.

"It's a credit to the kids, but it's exciting because we have had a lot of success. The kids just believed in what we taught," he said.

To watch Lacey on the sideline or in a classroom, it is clear that these students and athletes are much more like his own children.

"I understand the kids. I understand the situation. I understand them. I have a special bond," he said.

He treats them the way he would his own kids-whether that be through pushing them to be their best, through discipline and even just telling them he loves them as they come and go on a daily basis.

"Very few soccer programs are like this," Lacey said. "It is a very unique situation."

In Lacey's tenure, the boys program has been to the Sweet 16 round of state twice, the Elite Eight twice and been region champions once. The last three seasons the boys have ended No. 4 in the state with a total record of 160-50-3 before play began this year.

On the girls' side, the Lady Tigers have been region champions twice with one trip to the Sweet 16 and two to the Elite Eight. The last two seasons the girls finished ranked No. 4 in Georgia and have a record of 81-22-3.

Nine different times his teams have been in the top 10 of state rankings.

The team celebrated the 200th win with a trip to IHOP and a game ball that was "taken" after the game with plans to have it signed and added to his mantle.

"These are my children. It's almost like I'm their dad," he said. "They listen to me. We have our fights and we have our arguments, but they know where the line is. They are special. They are mine."

He said the greatest compliment to him is that all of his kids would rather play for him at the high school than club ball.

Lacey, of course, credits the kids with his success as a coach.

"You have to play a bunch of games. We have had a winning record ever since I have been here," he said. "It's the success of the kids."