Coach Bios

Coaches for the Girls' Teams

Blair Barksdale - Varsity Coach

A lifelong resident of Conyers, Coach Barksdale grew up playing soccer for RYSA.  She graduated from Rockdale County High School in 1999, where she played varsity soccer for the Bulldogs all four years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Presbyterian College, a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University, a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Georgia College and State University, and a Specialist Degree in Educational Administration and Policy from the UGA.  She is currently in her 7th year teaching at Heritage & currently teaches Spanish.  Coach Barksdale also served as the head coach for the Heritage football cheerleading squad.  This is Coach Barksdale’s 6th year working with the Heritage soccer program and first year as head coach. 

pbarksdale@rockdale.k12.ga.us

770-483-5428, ext. 27187

 

Sydney Smith

Coach Sydney Smith, a Conyers native, grew up playing club soccer at RYSA (’01-’09) and Atlanta Fire United (’09-’11).  She started varsity for all four years as well as led the team to the State AAAA playoffs (’08-’11). Her senior year, she was named the 2011 AAAA Student-Athlete of the Year. After high school, she accepted a scholarship to play for the inaugural Valdosta State Women’s Soccer team. She played for the Blazer’s four years, making it to the conference tournament every year with a GSC Championship in 2014. She was named GSC Fall Academic Honor Roll in 2011- 2014 as well as GSC Fall All-Academic Team in 2012. She graduated Valdosta State in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She recently got accepted into the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University, which she will begin in August 2017. This is her second year coaching for the Lady Patriots. She’s excited to work with these young ladies and help achieve goals for the program!     

770-483-5428, ext. 27181
 

Laura Freeman (JV)

Laura Freeman is new to Georgia, having moved here from Arkansas with Sandy, her corgi puppy. She attended the University of Arkansas where she earned her B.A. in history and political science, as well as her Master's in Teaching. She played soccer and ran cross country and track during high school in North Carolina. Coach Freeman is a social studies teacher at Heritage, where she also is the assistant volleyball coach. 

 

Coaches for the Boys' Teams

Brandon Stewart- Head Coach

Coach Stewart has long been a part of the Heritage Soccer program. He began patrolling the sidelines as a ball boy (86-92), and moved on to a stellar playing career from (93-97) where he was named all area (96, 97) and Region Player of the Year (97). He went on to play at Berry College (97-01) where he was a 2 time Scholar Athlete ultimately earning a degree in Psychology & Sociology.   He earned his MAT from Valdosta State and works at Heritage as a Learning Support Specialist.

Since 2009, Coach Stewart has directed the Patriots to a record of (94-45-9). Seven of his 8 Heritage teams have qualified for the state playoffs. They enjoyed an Undefeated Region Championship in 2012 and have been 3-time region runner-up including State Quarter finalist in '14 and '15. He is a 4-time Region Coach of the Year ('09, '12, '14, '15) and was named to the 2013, 2015 Georgia High School All-Star Coaching Staff, and 2016 SE Metro All-Star Game. Coach Stewart holds a USSF National C coaching license and previously served as a staff coach for Sporting FC/RYSA Revolution (2001-2010) and has rejoined on the staff as of Summer of 2015. 

Coach Stewart is married to former Bailey Merritt who was a standout defender for the Lady Pat’s. They reside in McDonough with their 3 children, Isabella, Landon and Matson. 

bstewart@rockdale.k12.ga.us

770-483-5428, ext. 128

Mike Beshiri II- Assistant Coach

mikebeshiri@gmail.com

770-286-2762

Josh Danner- Assistant Coach

jdanner@rockdale.k12.ga.us

770-483-8713