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Coach Muirhead Training

Summer Soccer for CHS Players

columbia soccer magnet

There are several summer playing and training opportunities available for CHS boys soccer players. Information and registration links are below. Please note: The Boosters can cover costs for those experiencing financial hardship; just email [email protected]

Summer League at Montclair State

Coach Muirhead and his staff are putting together two teams for a summer league at Montclair State. This is the second year that CHS has fielded teams for this league. This is open to players who played on any CHS team last year and to those who will be trying out for a team in August. You do not have to be present for all games to participate. Details:

  • 8 v. 8
  • June 10-July 16
  • six games on Monday or Tuesday nights
  • approximately $65-70 per player

If you are interested, fill out the form at the bottom of this page by May 22.

West Essex Tournament

The coaches are also putting together a team to play in the West Essex Tournament on Saturday, June 22. The cost will be approximately $30-40. This is open to rising sophomores through seniors, with priority given to returning varsity players. If you are interested, fill out the form at the bottom of this page by May 22.

Summer Training With Sammy Adjei

Sammy Adjei is once again running a summer training program. The program will run from July to August and is open to any player who will be trying out for boys or girls soccer at Columbia in August. We expect the training sessions to be at Underhill. Scheduling and registration details are coming soon.

Summer Camps

The coaching staff will be running a summer camp for rising 7th and 8th graders the week of Aug. 5 and another for rising 9th through 12th graders the week of Aug. 12. Follow the links to register.

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CHS Boys Soccer Information Night

Coach Muirhead is hosting a meeting for all players and families on Thursday, March 7, at 7pm in the auditorium. Current players and 8th graders planning to try out over the summer should attend.

The coaching staff will review details of the upcoming season and will be taking questions. Before attending, please review this document.

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Coach Muirhead Freshman team JV Team Tryouts Varsity team

Tryout Guidance and Summer Dates From Coach Muirhead

Coach Muirhead has shared his annual letter for players intending to try out for boys soccer at Columbia in August.

Please read carefully as there will be significant changes to tryouts this year. Some important dates:

  • Blackout Dates: No organized team activities from July 27 to Aug. 4, which makes this the best time for vacations
  • Middle School Camp: The week of Aug. 5 for rising 7th and 8th graders
  • High School Camp: The week of Aug. 12 for rising 9th through 12th graders
  • Tryouts start Monday, Aug. 19

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Coach Muirhead Freshman team JV Team Tryouts Varsity team

Tryout Details

In case you missed the email, here are the tryout details from Coach Muirhead:

Hello Cougar Soccer Families,

I just wanted to send you all an email highlighting our tryout and preseason period as I know even though I have shared this information with your son(s), it may not have made it back to you yet. Below is our schedule for the week of August 21st and how things work. Additionally, a quick note regarding medical clearances – I know some of you have been CC’ing me on emails to our athletic trainer regarding player clearance, the clearance list has remained largely unchanged for the past month due to Vanessa not being a 12 month employee, however, with football now underway, she is back and working on the medical paperwork – please keep an eye on your emails in case she reaches out regarding a missing form/signature. I will post updated clearance lists on our Google classroom and Group Me as they begin to accumulate.

Monday 8/21

AM Fitness (2 Mile Run)

  • 9:00am Seniors
  • 9:15am Juniors
  • 9:30am Sophomores
  • 9:45am Freshman

The run takes place on the track up at Underhill, please make sure you are in sneakers, headphones, music, pacing devices are all fine to use during the run.

The posted time above is when your son should be there to check in, the run will start 10 mins after check in time.

Our target time is 12 minutes, the run will be terminated after 15 minutes

After each grade level completes their run, they are free to go until we come back for the evening session.

Evening Session

  • 5:00pm-6:30pm Freshman Evaluation (Underhill Turf)
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm UpperClassmen Evaluation (Underhill Turf)

Tuesday 8/22

UpperClassmen Have a Double Session

  • 3:30pm-5:00pm Upperclassmen Evaluation – Session 1 (Underhill Turf)
  • 5:00pm-6:30pm Freshman Evaluation (Underhill Turf)
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm Upperclassmen Evaluation – Session 2 (Underhill Turf)

Wednesday 8/23

AM Fitness

  • 8:30am Freshman
  • 9:00am Sophomores
  • 9:30am Juniors
  • 10:00am Seniors

This morning fitness will take place on RITZER FIELD (behind CHS)

The posted time above is the START time for the fitness evaluation

This evaluation measures push ups, broad jump, shuttle run time, sprint time and timed dribbles through cones.

After each grade level completes their assessment, they are free to go until the evening evaluation period.

Evening Session

  • 5:00pm-6:30pm Freshman Evaluation (Underhill Turf)
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm UpperClassmen Evaluation (Underhill Turf)

What comes next…

By 10:30pm on Wednesday night every player will receive an email to their student email address, the email will either say congratulations, we are offering you a spot in the program this season, practice is at this time and this place tomorrow – or the other email that will go out is that unfortunately we are not able to offer you a spot this year, if you are interested in being a manager for the team (helps coaches with practices, participates in practice when the opportunity arises and helps coaches with stats during games) please let us know, additionally we encourage players to reach out and to set up a meeting with the coaching staff the following week so that we can provide a more in depth overview of their evaluation and how they can improve.

Why the email method – this was adopted as a recommendation from the athletic department leading into the covid period (in lieu of posting names on a board or calling the kids in one at a time), this coupled with the growth in the soccer program (we have 98 players who gave me their name for tryouts this fall) plus a condensed preseason schedule courtesy of the njsiaa (more on that shortly) has made it almost impossible to sit down with 30-40 players one at a time immediately following the final tryout. Additionally, making reductions is the worst part of this job and having been cut before myself (high school basketball) I know it’s never easy to digest from the player’s side either, which is why we recommend the meeting the following week for players who want to follow up on their evaluation.

The Preseason…

Practices for all levels begin the next day so there will be practice Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The NJSIAA requires 6 practices and a day of rest before a player is eligible to participate in a scrimmage. Our first scrimmage is the following Monday 8/28 so a player must be at all 3 days of tryouts, plus the following three days of practices to be eligible to play on Monday. For those of you trying to plan one last get away before school starts, our schedule for the end of August looks like this:

  • 8/28 – Scrimmage
  • 8/29 – Practice
  • 8/30 – Scrimmage
  • 8/31 – Practice
  • 9/1 – Scrimmage
  • 9/2 – Off Day
  • 9/3 – Off Day
  • 9/4 – Morning Practice
  • 9/5 – Scrimmage
  • 9/6 – Practice
  • 9/7 – First Game of the Regular Season

…. Pretty crazy, but with the four scrimmages and days off, we only get 7 days of practices between the last day of tryouts and the first game of the regular season. Everything moves very very quickly once we are underway.

There will be a player and parent meeting on the evening of Friday August 25th, location TBD (pending access to the high school) where we will discuss more and answer any questions, but hopefully this email should take care of most of the pressing issues.

-Coach Muirhead

Columbia High School
Business Teacher
Varsity Baseball Coach
Varsity Soccer Coach

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Registration Open for Columbia Soccer Camp

Coach Muirhead and the Columbia High School coaching staff will run two soccer camps in August.

The first, from Aug. 7-10, will be for rising 8th and 9th graders. The second, from Aug. 14-17, will be for rising 10th-12th graders.

Both camps will run 9am to 1pm Monday to Thursday on Ritzer Field, and the fee is $280 with a 50% discount for siblings.

Follow the links below to learn more and register.

soccer camp flyer
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Coach Muirhead Freshman team Training Tryouts

8th Grade Information Night

freshman soccer players celebrating

Interested in playing boys soccer at Columbia High School next year? If so, come out and meet the coaches and our booster organization on the evening of March 14. The coaching staff will share everything you need to know about the high school program. If you have questions, please submit them through this Google form before the meeting.

Who: Any 8th grader (and parents) interested in playing Boys Soccer at CHS next year. Seventh graders who are interested in what’s to come are equally welcome to join.

When: Tuesday, March 14, 7:15pm

Where: The Black Box Theater at Columbia High School

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Coach Muirhead Freshman team Tryouts

2023 Tryouts: Letter from Coach Muirhead to 8th Grade Families

freshman team huddle
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Photos From the End-of-Season Soccer Banquet

Thanks to Ben Niles for putting together this look back at all three teams’ seasons!

screen shot from end of season slideshow video

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Coach Muirhead Freshman team Tryouts

2022 Tryouts: Letter from Coach Muirhead to 8th Grade Families

The 2021 freshman team after their last game.

Hello 8th Grade Families,

My name is Coach Muirhead and I wanted to reach out to all of you in regards to your sons’ participation in the high school soccer program at Columbia High School. I’ve had a few parents already email me regarding tryouts/vacation/etc… so I figured it was best to put together this correspondence.

Tryouts for this fall will begin on Monday August 22nd. Tryouts typically last four days, although this does vary depending on the number of players that come out for the team. Two years ago we had 110 players tryout and we ended up going 5 days to make sure we got a good look at everyone. Last year the number was 87 players and we ended up making our decisions in 4 days.

I will detail more “tryout prep” below – once tryouts are completed we immediately roll into our preseason which takes us right up to our first game on Friday 9/9/22.

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Coach Muirhead Varsity team

Season Wrap-Up From The Village Green

Columbia High School 2021 boys varsity team

From The Village Green:

“The Columbia High School Boys Soccer team entered their 2021 season ripped by the tragic loss of teammate Moussa Fofana, but the team honored Fofana’s memory by lifting their game to new heights.

Led by head coach Ryan Muirhead, the team finished with an 11-7 record, including winning the Super Essex Conference–Liberty Division championship with a 6-1 division record. As a result, the Cougars will be promoted to the SEC–American Division for next season — the top division in the conference — marking the second year in a row that CHS has been promoted within the conference…”

Read the Complete Article