Bastidas resigns from girls soccer team
Trajano Bastidas recently decided to resign from his post at Catasauqua as head girls soccer coach to spend more time with his family, a significant factor in all of his soccer ventures.
However, he remained confident that his underlining message to all of the athletes in his programs will continue to linger.
"We always refer to it as a soccer education," said Bastidas. "Once soccer ends whether it be the end of the season or a high school career, we want that individual to be able to solve problems and be able to persevere in today's world.
"We have always worked to develop the athlete as a person. We want to be able to instill some values in our players."
Aside from the off-field development, Bastitdas' presence has been woven into the fabric of both the Roughies' boys and girls programs
He spent 12 seasons as the boys coach and compiled a 153-99-5 record and then had nine seasons as the girls coach. His 2007 team reached the PIAA Class 2A state final. However, the girls team has struggled in recent years and finished with a 0-18 slate this past season.
"This (resignation) is really about spending more time with my family," said Bastidas, who is a social studies teacher in the school district. "That's really it.
"I always reassess my situation at the end of the season. About a month ago, I decided this was the direction to go."
Being a mainstay in the Roughies' soccer program, Bastidas knew it would be a difficult choice.
"The experience of coaching just has been so wonderful," he stressed. "I have always considered it a privilege to coach. It has always been fun, but it can be challenging and difficult. Yet, this is the right time to do this."
Athletic director Dave Troxell certainly has appreciated his contributions.
"When you think of Catasauqua soccer, you think of Trajano Bastidas. Trajano was very instrumental in assisting and leading the Catasauqua Youth Soccer Association as well as the Catasauqua High School boys and girls soccer teams," said Troxell through a release.
"His dedication to the team, school, and community was very evident over his tenure of coaching. Trajano's impact on the student-athletes was very obvious through his coaching techniques and his success in the program. Trajano was extremely organized as a coach and he will be truly missed on the Thomas Field sidelines."
Soccer always has been a staple in the Bastidas family. The eldest Bastidas began a family-based soccer program in the Wilkes-Barre area over 25 years ago and it eventually evolved in the Lehigh Valley.
Sons Vicente', Christopher, and Adam were all outstanding players on the high school and collegiate level before they served time in the Catasauqua program and also assisted in the development of the family camp.
Vicente' is based in Florida, while Chris finished his first year as head coach of the Whitehall boys team and Adam was recently named head coach of the Northampton boys team.
"I told my wife (Tammy) that when Adam graduated college, it marked 25 years that all of us have been involved with soccer," said Bastidas. "As a family, we feel very, very blessed to have everyone together and it has been a lot of fun. (Tammy) does all of the paperwork and she and I handle all of the administrative stuff. It's great to have everyone in the experience."
Bastidas does plan to coach the co-ed middle school team at Catasauqua and remain involved in the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association and the Roughies' youth programs. He is hoping to continue to stoke the fires to raise interest in the youth and high school programs.
"I have seen the numbers drop off a little," said Bastidas. "It has been tough to keep the interest high. The numbers aren't the same as years ago. We just have to keep working at it."
With more than 20 years of coaching under his belt, Bastidas can reflect on a myriad of memories.
"I have about 40 (memories) that are really special," reflected Bastidas. "To pick one or two is very difficult. It would really be impossible to try and narrow it down. I just have to look at the whole and be very grateful for the opportunity."