Beechwood’s girls soccer team has finished 35th District Tournament runner-up and lost in the 9th Region Quarterfinals four of the past five seasons.
The Tigers have had winning seasons each of the past two years finishing 10-7-3 this past fall and 11-7-2 in 2021. But Beechwood does not want to be satisfied with just that. That’s where the new head coach in Guima Camil comes into play.
“I feel like there’s a good challenge in the school. They want to continue to grow and take it to the next level,” Camil said. “I don’t want to sound disrespectful to what other coaches did in the past. But I feel like I may be able to help the program take that next step to build a higher reputation when it comes to the girls soccer program.”
Camil takes over for Josh Young, who guided the Tigers the last four years. Beechwood lost at Dixie Heights in the region quarterfinals in each of the past two seasons.
“We are thrilled to bring Guima Camil to Beechwood because Coach Camil’s enthusiasm for the game, and his genuine concern for our student-athletes was incredibly evident during our meetings at Beechwood,” said Justin Kaiser, Beechwood High principal. “Coach Camil laid out a plan for every facet of the program and I am excited to watch the girls soccer team compete on the pitch this fall.”
The 32-year-old comes over after helping out the girls program at Cincinnati St. Ursula for four seasons. He served as a varsity assistant the past three seasons and the JV head coach in 2019. The Bulldogs finished 36-24-10 during that time, winning a league championship in 2019.
Camil is a personal trainer during the day. He has coached boys and girls at all levels through Total Futbol Academy and the Cincinnati Soccer Club. Former St. Ursula head coach Dave Ruehl coaches alongside of Camil at Total Futbol Academy. Ruehl coached St. Ursula to Ohio Division I state championships in 2007 and 2008.
“Guima’s extreme passion for and knowledge of soccer is equal to his dedication to excellence in the development of his players on and off the field,” Ruehl said. “He will be an excellent representative of the girls program at Beechwood High School.”
The GCL has produced state champions in each of the past two years. Seton won it last year and Mount Notre Dame won it in 2021.
“I think it’s no secret the Cincinnati area that league is one of the most competitive ones,” Camil said. “If you take a look at the last state champions, they’ve come out of that league. All the coaches know it. All the girls know it. I didn’t really see myself transitioning from that league because the competitiveness is what I’m used to when running my own program. Beechwood is probably the closest to that.”
Camil went to school in Mexico. He started playing youth soccer at the age of five or six. He played professionally for Club Deportivo Toluca from ages 14 to 18 before moving to Merida, Mexico to play collegiately. He is still enrolled in the Exercise Science program at the University of Cincinnati.
Camil knows every player is different and that adversity has come. But he’s learned some valuable lessons with that in his coaching career.
“In that case, I tend to try to lean on the team, especially the juniors and seniors that have been involved in the program because I’ve coached with several coaches,” Camil said. “But the one thing that stuck out to me when I was with the girls at St. Ursula with Dave Ruehl is he would tell the girls the team is not the coaches team. It’s not my team. It’s theirs. We want them to succeed and we want them to do great things. But we can’t force them to do that. When there’s a lack of motivation or energy, then that’s when you can lean on the juniors and seniors. I think giving them that accountability helps them the most.”
Camil said he really liked the facilities at Beechwood. That includes a weight room, turf field and indoor practice facility.
“I had a tour of the place (Friday) and being a personal trainer and wanting to incorporate strength training into sports is really important. For all of the girls, especially freshmen, I’ve seen a lot of injuries at the high school and club level. You see a lot of weird movements that can be avoided. I’m really glad that we have a strength coach,” Camil said. “They already have a schedule for that. That’s a huge relief for me because I don’t have to worry about that. They have planned that during preseason, during the season and postseason so the girls are going to be lifting regardless. It’s not just something they’ll be doing during the season. Having two fields is an advantage. They also have a smaller space that’s indoors so I even joked around with them. I said there’s really no reason to cancel practice here, which is great. I think the facilities and the equipment is perfect. We’re not missing anything.”
Camil said he’s big on the 4-3-3 formation. He said that’s being pushed in the United States because it gives teams more passing patters or options.
“You have two options,” Camil said. “You either adapt to what you have or you make the players adapt or something in between. It really does depend on the competition or what type of players you have.”
Camil is aware of the challenges in the 9th Region. The Tigers happen to be in the same 35th District with the state power Notre Dame Pandas. Notre Dame won the state championship in 2021.
Either Highlands or Notre Dame has won the region every year since the current format came about in 2012. Highlands won it for the fourth time in five years this past season. The Bluebirds finished state runner-up in 2018 and 2019.
“You have to go one step at a time. This happened at St. Ursula too. If you ask any team playing in a state tournament, their number one goal is to win state. Who doesn’t? I think if we’re disciplined, work hard and the girls show up and they do what they’re supposed to do meaning they show their talents with coaches guiding them in the right direction, then we can compete with any school whether it’s Highlands or Notre Dame,” Camil said. “But it’s not right to put that type of pressure on them. Let’s focus on having a good week then good games trying to start building momentum. The end goal is to be competing with the big schools that have that reputation. But I think it’s going to be a process.”
Practices normally begin around July 15. The season typically starts in early August.