For the second time since 2005, Blaine boys’ soccer coach Berry Arrowsmith was named Class AA Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year during the state tournament banquet at the RiverCentre in St. Paul Oct. 20.
This was Arrowsmith’s second nod for the top coaching award in the state and he earned the Section 7AA Coach of the Year award for the fourth time and first since 2005.
The Bengals finished with a 13-3-2 record, losing in the Section 7AA semifinal to Centennial 2-1, but captured the Northwest Suburban Conference title ahead of Anoka and Maple Grove by one point.
Blaine was consistently among the top 10 ranked teams in the state all season and finished the regular season at the top spot during Arrowsmith’s 15th season leading the Bengals and 25th season coaching high school boys’ soccer. He previously coached at St. Francis.
Arrowsmith’s assistant coach Eric Peterson marked his 13th year on the sidelines.
The honor is whittled down to the section coach of the year honorees before a committee from the coaches association votes for the state award. Arrowsmith was chosen from a list, including Minnesota soccer notables Alan Merrick (Eagan) and William “Chato” Alvarado (St. Louis Park).
“It’s a huge honor, especially looking at the guys in the running like Alan Merrick and Chato Alvarado,” Arrowsmith said. “To be up with those guys is a huge honor.”
Arrowsmith said he didn’t really think about coaching awards until his first section coach of the year honor. “It’s pretty humbling and a great honor for that first one, but each one has been just as humbling,” he said.
In addition to coaching the high school boys’ team, he coaches with the Blaine Soccer Club and is an active member of the Minnesota High School Soccer Coaches Association.
Another notable coach he beat out for the honor was Apple Valley’s Chuck Scanlon, who retired from coaching after this, his 36th season and nine state soccer titles in addition to two state girls’ hockey titles over an 18-year career leading the ringette and girls’ hockey team.
Arrowsmith has many memories of coaching against Scanlon while at St. Francis and again at Blaine.
“He’s a class act and he coaches his teams to play that way all the time,” Arrowsmith said. “I spoke with him at the coaches clinic this year and I’m sure he’ll come to the state tournament at least on championship day and we’ll possibly sit together in the baseball press box.”
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