Q & A with Zach Jensen and Tim Stork, recently hired junior varsity boys’ soccer coaches

Coach Zach Jensen playing soccer as a high school player at Johnston.

Provided/Zach Jensen

Coach Zach Jensen playing soccer as a high school player at Johnston.

Clare Farrell, Sub Editor

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Tim Stork

»What is your previous soccer experience? 

High School Player at Urbandale High School, All State Team, State Championship, member of the UHS Athletic Hall of Fame,  player at Luther College, All Conference Team, Elite Eight Team

»Do you have any previous coaching experience?

Varsity Coach – Anamosa High School – 2008-2013 – 2009 conference coach of the year

Assistant Varsity Coach – Ankeny High School – 2006-2007 – 2007 State Championship

Pro Coach – Urbandale Soccer Club, Urbandale, Iowa 2005 – 2007

Assistant varsity boys soccer coach, Decorah High School – 2004

Youth club coach – Decorah Soccer Club – 2000-2004

»What is your favorite part of coaching?

Strategically aligning talent and tactics to maximize the collective potential

»Why did you apply for the job?/Why did you want to become a coach?

Recently relocated to this community, and wanted to be part of the soccer program.

»How did you hear about the job?

Contacted the athletic department to be a part of the staff.

»Where did you go to college?

Luther College

»How did the interview process go? What was it like?

The interview process was handled in a professional fashion. I feel comfortable knowing the program’s direction, and I feel the program knows who I am and what I can contribute.

»What are things you have heard about Johnston?

Quality soccer program with talented players and coaches

»What are you looking forward to with this coaching opportunity?

Winning a State Championship 

»What do you think the best sport is, besides soccer?

Basketball. It brings many aspects that soccer does to perform at a high level, Speed, strength, and endurance to go along with skill and vision. Layer in teamwork and strategy it becomes

 »Coolest play you’ve ever seen? 

Roberto Carlos free kick 1997 vs. France

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ECoR__tJNQ

»Favorite professional soccer team?

Arsenal 

»Best characteristic of a soccer player?/one of your athletes?

Positive directive leadership

»What is your favorite soccer drill?

Small sided confined space games. Requires quick quality decision making, accuracy, and is competitive.

»What is your favorite brand (cleats, ball, apparel)?

Nike. Greatest global sports brand, and they happen to write my paychecks.

 

Zach Jensen

»What is your previous soccer experience?

I got into soccer because of my dad who played at Drake University. I have been playing soccer since I was 4. I played with the Johnston Select Soccer Club until the age of 13 and then I switched to the Urbandale Select Soccer Club. I also played 4 years at Johnston High School. After high school I was going to walk on at Drake University but at a Drake Camp I met Gary Laidlaw the coach of Central College in Pella, Iowa.  I visited campus and changed my mind and ended up playing 4 years at Central College.

»Do you have any previous coaching experience?

Pella Soccer Club , JUSC Academy sessions and camps, and the Johnston High School summer camp.

»What is your favorite part of coaching?

See the kids develop and grow over the course of the season or their playing career and also being able to coach and teach the sport that I love.

»Why did you apply for the job?/Why did you want to become a coach?

I actually didn’t apply for the job. I had Coach Weeks as a coach when I played here at Johnston and I have kept in contact with him over the years. I had moved back to Des Moines and Coach Weeks came to me saying a position had opened up and would love to have me rejoin the program. It had always been a dream of mine to come back to my alma mater and coach so when I heard from coach there were no doubts or concerns it was a definite yes.

»How did you hear about the job?

Coach Heath Weeks mentioned it to me and thought I would be a great fit for the program.

»Where did you go to college?

Central College

»How did the interview process go? What was it like?

There really wasn’t an interview process at all. After Coach Weeks had told me he would love for me to join the coaching staff he and I just sat down at Smokey Row and we caught up and just talked about the upcoming season and what I would be doing.  I also then met with Gary Ross and Coach Weeks to talk about expectations, fill out some paperwork, and my coaching authorization which I did not have yet. For your coaching authorization you have to have so many classes completed, a background check, and complete a concussion video. I had two classes from Central College that worked for this authorization but I still needed to have two more. So I just finished up two online classes at Kirkwood Community College.

»What are things you have heard about Johnston?

Well I am what they call a sandbox kid. I went to Johnston Schools my entire time while I was in school so from 1st grade to 12th grade. So I have always known about Johnston and I had played four years of soccer in high school. After graduating from Johnston I kept up with the high school team and always tried to make it out to a few games. Coach Weeks and Coach Mead have really turned around the program. This was a team that would constantly make the sub-state final and lose close games to power houses like Dowling and Ankeny when I was in school. Now the coaching staff has turned Johnston Soccer into a powerhouse and it is great to see.

»What are you looking forward to with this coaching opportunity?

I’m really looking forward to give back to where I got my start in soccer and continuing being in the game that I love and has made me who I am today.  We have some great kids in our program and it’s going to not only be great to coach them but to also learn from them as well.  I’m really excited for this opportunity and it’s great to be back with Johnston Soccer and coach along with some of my mentors.

»What do you think the best sport is, besides soccer?

Thats a tough one because soccer is my absolute favorite and is the most popular sport in the world. I would have to go with though college basketball it’s so intense and fun to watch. Everyone loves march madness.

»Coolest play you’ve ever seen?

Well not to brag or anything but my senior year we were playing #10 ranked newton in the substate semifinals and with 20 seconds left on the clock we were all tied up and we had been in some many overtime penalty shootouts that year that I did not want that too happen. So I blasted a ball from half field and ended up going in the back of the net. It was really rainy that night so wet surfaces helped that. So that’s probably the coolest thing I’ve been a part of and my eventual college coach was there watching too.

»Favorite professional soccer team?

Arsenal

»Best characteristic of a soccer player?/one of your athletes?

Definitely need to be determined, focused, and motivated. You need to have that driven work ethic to be able to compete and work on getting better and things your game lacks on. Having a good composure too is a great characteristics because I can not count the number of times I’ve seen a player blow up on a ref or other player in a game and it doesn’t end well. I’ve been guilty of this myself. One of greatest characteristics to have in this sport is passion. If you’re not passionate about the game and what you’re doing than why are you playing it?

»What is your favorite soccer drill?

I don’t know if I have a favorite but any drills having to do with possession is my favorite. There are so many things you can cover and work on with possession drills. Possession is very important in soccer and usually the the team with the most possession wins the game too but that’s not true in all cases.

»What is your favorite brand (cleats, ball, apparel)?

It’s always been Adidas for me. I’ve always worn Adidas cleats no matter what.