Cherry is right for the job, make it official

Maybe it’s just that I am reading too much into press releases, but one thing I noticed about the June 20 announcement that Summer Perala was stepping down as Eastern’s head women’s soccer coach was that there was no mention of a national search being conducted for her replacement. 

If this means what I think it means, it would mean that assistant coach Jason Cherry will eventually be named head coach, and he should be. 

Quite frankly, I don’t think there’s a better option for Eastern right now. 

There have only been a few head coaches in this team’s fairly short history, and Cherry could be (and should be) next on that list.

It’s already July. Before we know it, summer will be over, classes will be starting again and the Panthers will begin their 2013 season on August 23 against Oakland at Lakeside Field. 

There is not a person out there right now fit to lead this team better than Cherry. Granted, this will only be his second season at Eastern, but that’s still more than any other person up for the job right now, unless Tim Nowak is making a return to Charleston sometime soon (very unlikely).

Also, looking at the Panthers’ schedule, the team plays a number of the same opponents it did last year: Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Drake, and not to mention, all of the Ohio Valley Conference. 

Any coach can look at film and scouting reports, but Cherry was on the sidelines for those matches.

I think he will be the next coach, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s made official. 

I mean, his name is already on the Eastern women’s soccer Twitter account (@eiuwsoccer), and Twitter is serious business. 

I think the program will be in good hands with Cherry. 

The players seem to like him, and if he’s up to the challenge, he’ll be a great fit to lead the team back to the OVC tournament and hopefully back to the big dance.

The Panthers are facing an uphill battle this season, coming off a disappointing year and losing Kristin Germann, one of the best players to ever suit up for the Panthers, to graduation. 

With Cherry (hopefully) at the head next season, it’ll be another Eastern sports team ushering in a “new era,” as we like to call it around here.

Dominic Renzetti can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].