Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coster Field Will Be Named in Honor of Youth Team Coach

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coster Field Will Be Named in Honor of Youth Team Coach

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Boleky

The day after Radge Coster died, his friends, still dealing with shock and sadness, starting thinking of a way to honor him.

Those plans come to fruition today, as the tee-ball grounds at Alberts Field will be named Coster Field at an 11 a.m. dedication.

Coster, involved for years in youth sports as a coach and board member, died of a heart attack on Jan. 8 at age 47.

"He was that guy that everybody liked," said Mandarin Sports Association baseball coach Jerry Soupal. "He was everything that's good about youth sports. The kids loved playing for him."

Coster had four children, including his oldest son, Bobby, who is a sophomore pitcher at Rollins College in Winter Park.

The ceremony will take place between games of the MSA tee-ball postseason tournament.

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Two years ago, it was a group looking for a coach and an identity. Now, the Jacksonville Youth Soccer Club Under-16 Boys squad is one of the best four teams in the state. The traveling team will be playing in the semifinals of the U.S. Youth Soccer Florida State Cup next weekend in Pensacola.

Six of the 18 players currently on the crew were a part of an Under-14 squad that struggled to win a game in the North Florida Youth Soccer League in the fall of 2005. That was coach Joey Barrett's first season in the JYSC.

He developed that contingent the following two springs, and continually added to it with team-oriented players. The JYSC group is made up of players from eight area high schools, including Jordan Flippin, Steven Lewis, Alex Pepple, Gene Vega and Hector Vega of Mandarin High.

"The big key is they learned to play as a team," said manager Bryan Cooper. "They didn't have any Freddy Adu's, but everyone learned to play as a unit."

And according to Barrett, their growing success is also due to a factor that seems simple, yet isn't always present on a squad of all-star players. …

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