One thing that attracted Tony Sonnabend to the girls soccer head coaching position at Paducah Tilghman was the chance to work with Principal Art Davis and athletic director Dwayne Wall.
"One big factor in me taking the job were the informal and formal meetings I had with Art and Dwayne," said Sonnabend, who signed his contract to become the Lady Blue Tornado's soccer coach Wednesday afternoon. "I was really impressed with their vision of how they wanted the program to go. They talked about discipline, but more important how they wanted to develop athletes with character and how they wanted to win the right way. That made me feel so comfortable with them."
Sonnebend takes over Tilghman's program after spending last year with St. Mary's girls soccer team and leading Graves County's girls team in 2012.
At Graves County, Sonnabend coached the Lady Eagles to a 16-6-1 record, the Second District Tournament championship and to the runner-up spot in the First Region Tournament.
With St. Mary, Sonnabend guided the Lady Vikings to a 9-5 mark and to being the runner up in the First District Tournament. St. Mary lost to eventual First Region champion Marshall County in the first round of the First Region Tournament.
The Lady Vikings also beat Paducah Tilghman in girls soccer for the first time in 15 years and won all three games played against the Lady Blue Tornado last season.
"The Lady Tornado program is at a crossroads," Sonnabend said. "With the formation of McCracken County and the success we had at St. Mary, they found themselves being the least successful program a year after winning the district title."
Sonnabend's main goal is to make Tilghman into a region power.
"Marshall County and Graves County have been the best teams, because of the sheer number of kids they have coming into their programs and more importantly, the sheer number of travel soccer players they have," Sonnabend said. "McCracken County is building, too, and they of course are going to be the favorite. So our goal is increase our numbers and then try to close the gap on McCracken. Our goal is to be in the district final this year, to win the district title within three years and then get to the regional championship in five years."
Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow on Twitter @psunsports.