08/07/18 — PREP SOCCER: Maldonado selected to coach 2019 East All-Star boys' team

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PREP SOCCER: Maldonado selected to coach 2019 East All-Star boys' team

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 7, 2018 5:51 AM



The phone rang.

A Greensboro number popped up on the caller ID.

"I don't know anybody in Greensboro. I'm not answering that," Eddie Maldonado said.

The caller left a message.

"Coach Weaver from the Association. Call me back."

Maldonado had no clue why Phil Weaver, co-director of the N.C. Coaches Association, would try to reach him.

"At first, I wasn't going to call," Maldonado said. "If it's important, he'll call me back."

Weaver did.

Maldonado answered this time.

"We were wondering if you would be interested in coaching the East All-Star team," Weaver said.

Maldonado, the head boys' soccer coach at Rosewood, didn't know how to respond.

He asked Weaver if he could get back to him.

Weaver seemed stunned.

Maldonado asked if he could contact a couple of coaches, but Weaver requested that he not make any phone calls until the official announcement had been released. Once Maldonado had been named head coach of the East team on Sunday, he called Brent Walston.

Walston immediately offered his congratulations.

Maldonado, at that point, felt his selection was legit.

"When he said 'congratulations, it's an honor,' I took that as a good thing because I think pretty highly of Brent," Maldonado said. "He told me I had been on the short list to coach an East-West All-Star game and that made me feel pretty good."

Walston, who built Wilson Hunt into a powerhouse with Mike Perry, began telling Maldonado about his experience as coach of the East team in 2000.

The University of Mount Olive grad will travel to Greensboro in early winter to write letters to seniors offering them a spot on the East team. There are no tryouts for the 16-player squad. Selections are based solely on recommendations by the coaches.

He won't have an assistant coach.

Maldonado felt a little overwhelmed.

"Brent said I need to keep my eyes open, talk to a lot of coaches, keep an eye out on who is playing well, who is not playing well," Maldonado said.

The all-stars will meet the Sunday before the annual coaches clinic begins in Greensboro. They'll have three practices and then face the West squad on Tuesday.

Maldonado had another question.

"How do you even instill any philosophy in three practices?" he asked Walston.

Relax, coach.

"He said don't worry about it," Maldonado laughed. "It's an all-star game. The kids are high-level kids, they can play and you're really just there to have a good time. If that's what it will be, I'll go and have a good time.

"I'm excited for it. It's going to be fun."

Maldonado is the fourth coach in Rosewood history chosen to participate in the three-day, East-West All-Star extravaganza. Rick Grantham served as head coach of the East girls' basketball team in 2016. Robert Britt (2014) and Daniel Barrow Sr. (2003) were named to the East's football staff.

In all, with Maldonado's inclusion, a total of 13 players/coaches from RHS have worn an East All-Star uniform since 1974.

"When Coach Weaver called me, I was excited, but like 'really?'" said Maldonado, who has a 72-49-3 career record in sixseasons with the Eagles.

"I think it's cool [and] it's going to be fun. It's a huge opportunity, an honor that they picked me from little old Rosewood to coach the East All-Star team."