2012: 12-7, state runner-up
2011: 21-2, state champions
2010: 16-7, lost in state semis
2009: 19-3, state champions
FARMINGTON — One of the state's top high school soccer teams has announced its third head coach in as many years.
Byron Farnsworth will lead the Farmington Scorpions boys' soccer team this fall. The 2008 Aztec High graduate replaces Ryan Atkinson, who coached just one season in place of Felix Chacon.
Atkinson coached the team to a state runner-up finish in 2012 a year after Chacon led the Scorps to a state championship. Farmington High also won the state title in 2009 under head coach Pete Rankin.
"I just got handed the best team in the entire state, and I can't beat that at all," said Farnsworth. "Farmington has a great history as far as winning. I had the opportunity to play against them for five years, and I have coached against them. We have a fantastic group of boys here."
Atkinson left FHS for a job in Tucson, Ariz. Farnsworth was an assistant under Atkinson last season, and FHS athletic director Don Lorett said Farnsworth was the perfect candidate to step into the job.
"He certainly provides continuity. He knows the kids already, and he is from the area," Lorett said.
Farnsworth played in high school for Aztec. While attending Fort Lewis College, he played varsity club soccer and went on to coach the club soccer team to regionals and nationals for two years. Fort Lewis was the only Division II team to accomplish that feat.
During his time at Fort Lewis, Farnsworth said he gained a lot of knowledge from European players, and that has influenced his coaching style.
"The biggest thing is we are going to work the ball. I had the opportunity of playing with a lot of European guys at Fort Lewis, and they play a different type of soccer than you see in the United States and in the MLS," he said. "My philosophy is playing pretty soccer and working your butt off, plain and simple."
Farnsworth has also been active as a youth soccer coach and has assisted both the Aztec boys' and girls' teams before joining the FHS staff under Atkinson.
Though the coaches have changed, Lorett said the goal for FHS soccer remains the same.
"Boys' soccer certainly has been one of our most successful programs the last several years. There are new kids and high expectations," Lorett said. "Last year, we were so close and the kids worked really hard. We graduated a few seniors but we have young kids who have experience. We want to defend our district title and let it roll from there."
Farnsworth believes this year's team has the potential to perform at an even higher level than teams in recent years.
"Luckily, I got to go with the team to state last year and help out quite a bit with the varsity program as far as practices and stuff. I think we have one of the best center backs in the state and a great goalkeeper," he said. "It shocks me how we lost that many seniors but it looks like we have an even better team than it was last year."John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.