Norris acts as the new girls soccer coach for the 2021-2022 season


Courtesy of Chris Norris

Chris Norris is the new head girls soccer coach for the 2021-2022 season.

     The game is about to start when the coach calls the Highlands girls soccer team over in a huddle. Coach Norris gives the team a quick pre-game pep talk before sending them out on the field. “We live as a team,” the coach yells…

     The new Highlands High School Head Girls Soccer Coach Chris Norris has been coaching for thirty years, this being his 31st year of coaching. Norris got into coaching because his father had been coaching a U5 team, his dad had asked Norris to help him coach. At this time Norris was thirteen years old and had been playing soccer for eight years. After helping out with the team, Norris’s father made him go to a coaching class and it took off from there. 

     Norris came to Highlands due to how he had seen the Birds be successful and supportive of their sports programs. 

     “When the opportunity was presented to me I jumped right on it.” 

     Outside of coaching soccer, Norris teaches English at Ignite Institute. He spends a lot of time on the sidelines, watching his kids play basketball, volleyball, soccer, and marching band. Norris enjoys running and is involved with Northern Kentucky University (NKU) alumni groups as well as the NKU soccer programs. 

     With a new coach comes new traditions. One tradition Norris has brought to the Highlands girl’s soccer program is the golden bird. The golden bird is a system where a player will reward another player on their team a golden bird after one week. The next week, the player who won the previous week will then award the golden bird to another team member. To win the bird, you must be hardworking, along with pushing yourself and your teammates throughout the week. 

     “It is a way for players to recognize their teammates that are working hard and doing good things week in and week out. It’s a way so that I don’t have to reward the players, they reward themselves.” 

     This positive atmosphere, according to Junior Varsity Coach Kelsey Etherton, helps the players become more comfortable and create relationships on and off the field. 

     “He does a very good job of keeping a positive mood by having fun with the team and keeping them engaged while also being firm and staying focused on our end goal. His interactions with the team encourage this mindset which allows the team to have more chemistry on and off the field.” 

     Aside from wanting to keep things positive, Norris has many goals for his team. His near-term goal is to win state championships, which start October 4 and can go until October 30. 

     His long-term goal is making sure the players are local citizens who, “Not only play good soccer but have fun playing good soccer.” 

     Norris also wants the players to have what it takes to be successful in the world, not just in soccer.

     Overall, Norris has proven to be a great addition to the Fort Thomas Independent School’s community. He has made positive changes within the girl’s soccer program. Norris will continue to work with his team and fellow coaches to get varsity to state championships this year, and in years to come. 

     “I expect us to continuously get better for the next five years, or however long I’m here.”

     “We die as a team,” the girls yell back. They take their positions on the field and the whistles blow. The game has begun. The team proceeded to win the game 8-0. Another state championship win for the ladybirds, making them appear to be unstoppable.

The next girl’s soccer game is tonight at Tower Park starting at 4:30 against Saint Henry High School.