New BE soccer coach works out first-year kicks and kinks

It’s a case where a win-loss record is deceiving.
The Bishop England High School boys’ soccer team began play this week with a 4-3 record under BE alum and first-year coach Brandon Costa.
Costa doesn’t play the what-if game, but the Bishops’ three losses this season were by a combined four goals.
The Class AA Bishops dropped a 1-0 decision to Class AAAAA superpower Wando High School and a 2-1 decision to Class AAAAA entry Stratford High School. The Bishops’ other loss was a 2-0 decision to Class AA state champ Oceanside Collegiate Academy.
“It’s been a busy first year, but it’s been fun,” Costa said. “But we are asking a lot from our players. We’ve asked them to learn a new system and to raise their grades in the classroom. All the losses are on the coaches because we haven’t worked out the kinks yet.”
The Bishops have one of the most impressive soccer programs in state history, with 17 state championships to their credit.
Costa knows all about that winning tradition. He was a goalkeeper for coach Ed Khouri’s program and was a part of three state championship teams from 2007 to 2009.
He played collegiately at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and then began a coaching career that included stops as an assistant at Lenoir-Rhyne University and Erskine College. He also coached for the Charleston Soccer Club.
He came to BE from Wando, where he served as an assistant to Shilo Tisdale for the past two seasons.
He played for legendary coach Khouri, who logged 500 career victories at BE, and he replaced Patrick Khouri, who was Ed’s grandson and coached the Bishops last season.
There’s still a Khouri connection in the program. Easton Khouri is one of four captains, and you can tell by his skill level that he comes from a soccer family.
“Easton is an incredible player,” Costa said. “His technique is incredible, and he’s usually the best player out there. When the ball hits his foot, it’s magic.”
Zach Mullen is another team captain who knows about success.
“He’s an incredible athlete,” Costa said. “He played on the state championship volleyball team. He’s been an anchor for us and is the backbone of the team.”
The other two captains are Jonah Cooker and Decator Woodard.
Costa isn’t focused on the win-loss record this season because of the transition the team has made with its third coach in three years.
“I don’t worry about what place we are in (Region 7-AA),” Costa said. “We’re focused on getting better on the field and in the classroom. We have to play together.”
The Bishops began this week with a two-game winning streak and a 3-1 record in region play, with their only loss coming to OCA.
The Bishops were scheduled to play Academic Magnet, and a BE victory would clinch second place and give the Bishops at least one home game when the playoffs commence.
The Bishops play West Ashley High School on April 20 and conclude the regular season with matches against OCA on April 23 and Wando on April 25.

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