Cinco Ranch High School, Texas high school boys soccer, Cougars, Fredy Sanguinetti, Roger Sanguinetti, Katy ISD

Cinco Ranch’s Sanguinetti back coaching boys, son

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 1/28/20

Late last July, Cinco Ranch girls soccer coach Fredy Sanguinetti was in Arizona with his family when he learned Cougar boys soccer coach Mason Whitfield had left to take an assistant coaching job at Lake Travis High.

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Cinco Ranch High School, Texas high school boys soccer, Cougars, Fredy Sanguinetti, Roger Sanguinetti, Katy ISD

Cinco Ranch’s Sanguinetti back coaching boys, son

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Late last July, Cinco Ranch girls soccer coach Fredy Sanguinetti was in Arizona with his family when he learned Cougar boys soccer coach Mason Whitfield had left to take an assistant coaching job at Lake Travis High.

Not long after, during a family trip to North Carolina, Sanguinetti’s son Roger, an incoming senior defender for the Cougars, had a talk with his dad.

“Dad, I want you to be my coach,” Roger said.

From there, it was a no-brainer, Sanguinetti said. He took the job two weeks before the start of the school year after being allowed to take veteran assistant coach Jonathan Kauffman with him. Sanguinetti’s other assistant coach with the girls, Claudia Monagas, took over as head coach.

After 11 years at the helm of a Cinco Ranch girls program that he established as a perennial state powerhouse, Sanguinetti is back coaching boys.

“A lot of people in Katy ISD know that he’s a really solid coach, and I wanted to have that experience of someone I can trust and be able to learn from,” said Roger, a signee to NCAA Division I Grand Canyon University and regarded as one of the top players in the southern United States.

It did not take long for Sanguinetti to make his mark.

At 8-0-3 through the first 11 games this season, the Cougars already surpassed last season’s win mark. Cinco Ranch has a young nucleus, but makes up for the inexperience with a relentless work ethic to go with strong team chemistry.

“Coach Sang has brought a lot more heart,” senior defender Jack Taylor said. “The year before, I didn’t really know a lot of people, didn’t really know my teammates. Now, even with a new group, there’s a lot more connection. We’re taught to work for our team and not for ourselves. He’s brought that, and we’re better for that.”

Sanguinetti said the boys game is faster than when he last coached boys soccer at Morton Ranch High. In a loaded district, he expects to have a gritty team that competes.

That was evident during a recent 2-2 tie against Ridge Point on Jan. 18. The Cougars trailed 2-0 with 15 minutes left in the match before a flurry of late goals earned a tie against a talented Panthers club.

“We still have mental lapses here and there,” Sanguinetti said. “The overall response, though, is these boys were ready for the hard work, and they haven’t demonstrated anything but that. We’re going to be a scrappy team in a very tough district, so we’ve got to work.”

Roger said that workmanlike nature has made a difference.

“That’s all we needed, coming from last year to this year,” Roger said. “We got really lazy last year. This year, we keep fighting. We don’t give up.”

With six goals and 10 assists through the first 11 games, Roger has thrived this season as Sanguinetti is using him in more ways.

The last time Sanguinetti coached his son was when Roger was seven years old playing on Sanguinetti’s U-10 little league youth soccer team.

“It’s a blessing,” Sanguinetti said. “No matter what the results are, no matter what happens, it’s something I’m going to always look back on and count as a blessing. We have strict rules, now they’re stricter, as far as when he’s talking to dad or coach. But, to me, to have that opportunity, there’s not a lot of coaches that get that. I didn’t have it with my older son, so to me it’s a blessing.”

The relationship between parent and child when they become coach and player can be a difficult one. But the Sanguinettis are well-versed in the circumstance and handle it well.

“We’ve done it a lot throughout the years, with all my kids, whenever I go watch their activities or games,” Sanguinetti said. “If they want to talk to dad, they’ll say, ‘Hey, I need Dad right now.’ Or, ‘Hey, I need Coach.’ This relationship is no different. We may come to school in the same car, but when we leave it’s a different car, because I don’t want him to drive home with Coach.”

Added Roger: “On the field, it’s coach and player. It’s not dad and son. I like it that way because there’s no favoritism or anything. I know I’m going to excel because I’m excelling, not because I’m his son.”

The Cougars are still a work in progress. Sanguinetti has introduced variability with formations and personnel that players are still adjusting to, and he is very much still in the baby stages of implementing his culture and standards.

“For me, the biggest thing is routines, and sometimes I’ll catch myself getting on them about something and I realize I haven’t told them,” Sanguinetti said, laughing. “It’s expectations I’m used to that they’re not aware of or haven’t been coached on yet. It’s like going back and starting from scratch and having a brand new program. They’ve been amazing in taking that and wanting to get better and having that discipline and desire.”

Indeed, Taylor said, there is a clear understanding amongst players that “how far we want to go is up to us.”

“He doesn’t let us give up. That’s the thing,” Taylor said. “Some coaches may ease up on you every now and then, but Coach Sang is always pushing us. You never have to worry about getting worse, because he’s always making sure we’re working to get better.”

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