PINSON, AL -
The Pinson Valley boys' and girls' soccer teams have more in common than you might think.
And that's not just because they're both playing in the state semi-finals this week.
They also both have the same head coach.
"I first started out wanting to start up the girls' program because there wasn't a girls' team here and there hasn't been one in two years," Pinson Valley head coach Jeff Mills said.
"The boys' team has had a lot of success over the years," Mills said. "But they've had a lot of turnover with sponsors and coaches. The guy that coached it last year, his son was a senior and he was moving on. So there was an opportunity there to also take over the boys' program as well."
Mills has had immediate success in his first season, leading two programs to the semi-final round at the same school. But before the season, did the players doubt he could handle both jobs?
"I thought that we were just going to be out here and the guys were going to have all of the attention," Pinson Valley senior Savannah Hudson said. "We would just be on the side. But he's balanced it pretty well."
"We were actually thinking about asking him if we could find another coach to just help him out," Pinson Valley senior Carlos Savino said. "But he decided to just stick with us and separate the times. We've been able to pull it off this season."
"I like him because he knows how to balance the boys and the girls," Pinson Valley senior Christina Bell said. "It wasn't a problem for me."
"At first, it was concerning," Pinson Valley sophomore Preston Dixon said. "But the way he handles it, it's not a problem at all. He does really well."
On Friday, the girls' team will play John Carroll at 1:30pm in the state semi-finals. The boys' team will play Homewood right after that at 3:45pm.
Will Mills just run over from field to field?
"Well, thank heavens they're on the same field. So, yes, it will be easy," Mills said.