Meg Giachelli, the Planters Bank Player of the Week, has always had her father right beside her on the soccer field.
Meg’s father, Jeff Giachelli, first became her coach when she started soccer as a budding young girl.
Now, as a junior leader on the Washington girls soccer team, her father is still leading her on the sidelines as the head coach.
“It has been great having him as my coach all these years,” Meg said. “He has always encouraged me. He has always told me to do my best because you never know who may be watching.”
This season, as her team’s center midfielder, Meg has blossomed even more into the talented player her father always knew she could become. Seeing his daughter shine on the soccer field, makes all those long hours coaching her as a young girl even more meaningful.
“It is not normal that you get to coach your daughter and get to see her progress as a player and a person,” Coach Giachelli said. “It has been a pleasure doing it. I have enjoyed every bit of it. I am probably a little harder on her than I am on a lot of people, but that is only because I know how good she can be.”
Along with his daughter Meg, Coach Giachelli has also been instrumental in helping his son, Will, develop his own talents in the sport of soccer. Last season, as the coach of the Washington School boys soccer team, Giachelli watched Will help lead the Generals to a 15-2 record and make it all the way to the state title game. This season, after receiving a scholarship, Will is now a member of the Copiah-Lincoln college soccer team.
“We have always been a soccer family,” Meg said. “You always have someone to go out and practice with. You are never doing something on your own. It is just fun. It is fun when your whole family knows the game, and can support you.”
After a 4-0 victory over Lee Academy last Wednesday, Meg’s Lady Generals have moved their record this season to 4-3-1. Meg is just one of many Lady Generals who have helped the team show steady improvement this season.
Senior leaders like Louise Word and Lauren Shelley, for example, have also been instrumental in the team’s success.
“Louise Word has always been a rock in the backfield for us,” said Coach Giachelli. “Louise is someone that I can always depend on to do her best on every single play."
With the hard work of players like his daughter and her teammates, the Washington Coach believes his Lady Gens have unlimited potential.
“Our goal as a team is to be there at the end when the state tournament rolls around. We have gotten better after each game, but we still have a touch road ahead,” Coach Giachelli said.