MOUNT VERNON — A familiar name has filled the coaching vacancy for the Mount Vernon Bulldogs girls’ soccer program.

Rene Caro, who led the Cheney High School boys’ soccer team to a 14-3 record in his only season with the Blackhawks, will guide the girls’ team at his alma mater next season.

“I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity,” Caro said. “At first, I really wasn’t looking at it and wasn’t even going to apply. Then I started thinking about my time at Mount Vernon and how special it was. Then I wanted to return. I want to help the soccer program be successful.”

Caro, a 2010 Mount Vernon grad, has some familiarity with the girls’ program. He was an assistant coach the season prior to departing for Cheney.

“That will make for a very smooth transition,” Caro added. “I know this team.”

Behr Ibarra, the girls’ coach the previous two seasons, stepped down to spend more time with his family, Athletic Director Chris Oliver said. Ibarra will continue to coach the Bulldogs boys’ squad.

“It’s a good hire for us,” Oliver said. “He (Caro) is already here in town and has hit the ground running. He’s already setting up youth camps.

“He has a passion and intensity for a game he’s very familiar with. He has a lot of playing experience and now he has a lot of coaching experience as well.”

Caro played professionally for the Kitsap Pumas of the National Premier Soccer League.

He graduated cum laude with a biology degree from Saint Martin’s University in Lacey where he played in all 18 matches for the Saints his senior year after seeing time in four games his junior year.

He spent his freshman and sophomore years at the University of Portland, but did not play soccer.

At Mount Vernon, Caro was twice named the Skagit Valley Herald Player of the Year and was the conference’s Most Valuable Player following his senior season.

When asked about his particular style of play, Caro said he believes in possession-based soccer.

“I am a very firm believer in that,” he said, “but with a purpose. Soccer is evolving. I understand you can’t win by just possessing the most. It’s about understanding space and time with the end result being a scored goal.

“I want the team to possess the ball and remember it’s an 80-minute game. There’s plenty of time to score. You don’t have to press to do it in the first minute.”

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Sports_SVH, Facebook.com/vincereports.

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