Steve Shahan soccer

Steve Shahan poses for a photo at the football field of East Middle School on Friday. Shahan has been named the new coach of the Butte High School girls soccer team.

BUTTE — Colstrip native Steve Shahan has been named the new girls soccer coach at Butte High School, where his number one goal will be to raise participation in the sport.

Butte High School will be Shahan's first coaching opportunity in soccer, but he has coached track and field, football and baseball in the past. Shahan teaches physical education at East Middle School as well.

"The time was right for a chance and I've always enjoyed soccer. It's ready for some new energy," said Shahan. "I want to build things to where I'd like to see them, where a lot of people would like to see them."

Both the boys and girls teams consist of fewer than 25 players. But with the physical training benefits and general fun of the game, Shahan said that both programs could see upwards of 30 players in the near future.

Shahan said soccer offers an opportunity to grow individually and be competitive. He is yet to meet all of his players, but said he is excited to meet the young athletes at Butte High.

"I love track and field because no matter what event you do, it's going to help you," said Shahan. "Soccer is a close second. It teaches athletic development, coordination, balance and speed. All things that are good for a long, healthy life."

"Plus you get to be outside, running around and having fun," Shahan continued. "What's not to like about that?"

Shahan, a Colstrip High School and MSU-Billings grad, played football, basketball, bowling and track and field himself. He is currently working on his master's degree from Emporia State University.

While much of the rosters have been filled, Shahan will be looking for interested eighth graders at East Middle School in the coming months. Shahan has plans to rejuvenate interest in soccer at Butte High School, as well as throughout the community.

"Hopefully we can get that interest level up and start having a little fun out on the pitch," Shahan said.

Blake Fussell covers sports in and around Butte. Follow Blake on Twitter @blake_fussell

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