Obranovich confidently leads Baldwin boys' soccer team
Adam Obranovich will begin his third season as the Baldwin boys' varsity soccer coach on Monday when the Highlanders start their preseason practice schedule.
Obranovich grew up in South Park, competing on the first boys' soccer team to make it to the PIAA championship game.
Though the Eagles lost that game, South Park has gone on to win a state title multiple times and is a perennial soccer powerhouse.
“Being part of a successful high school team has set the bar high,” said the 27-year-old Obranovich.
Obranovich, a 2005 South Park graduate, has been coaching soccer for seven years. He credits his high school coach, John Cantwell, as the person who has had the most impact on his coaching style.
Cantwell, who still coaches at South Park, is the older brother of Baldwin assistant coach Chris Cantwell.
Obranovich competed in soccer for one year at California (Pa.) University until injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident ended his playing career.
Realizing he didn't want to be away from soccer, Obranovich served as head coach of the boys' soccer team at California High School while he attended college.
From 2008 to 2012, Obranovich was able to build California into a competitive program. There was little interest in soccer when he arrived — the boys' team was actually a co-ed squad in the early going.
“It was a rough start, but when I left they were section champions,” said Obranovich, who also is assisted by Andrew Jackson.
Obranovich is confident he will have the same success at Baldwin. He said the 2014 team is disciplined, and willing to focus on soccer throughout the year.
“I see Baldwin as a top team competing for the section (championship), and regularly making it deep into the playoffs and qualifying for states,” Obranovich said.
Those are lofty goals for a team that has not yet made the WPIAL playoffs under his leadership.
But Obranovich is unwavering in his confidence. He believes the changes he has made in the program are working and the Highlanders are improving steadily.
“I think this is the year that Baldwin is going to be back on the map of high school soccer,” Obranovich said.
Jennifer Goga is a freelance writer.