Keeping it in the family

Longtime boys soccer coach at Elkhorn Area High School, BZ Kayser (on right) is handing the reigns over to his son, Jordan, but plans to stay involved. BZ’s youngest son, Chandler, took over the EAHS girls soccer program last year. (Mike Ramczyk photo)

Kayser name lives on in Elkhorn soccer program

By Mike Ramczyk

The name Kayser has become an institution, not only Elkhorn Area High School athletics, but also the Southern Lakes Conference.

BZ Kayser took over both boys and girls varsity soccer back in 2010 to try to revive a struggling program.

The results have been more than favorable.

Three state tournament appearances and five Southern Lakes Conference championships, including another title and state run in 2019, and Kayser is at the top of the local soccer heap.

But the diminutive dad, who recently turned 50, said he is ready to hand over the reigns.

After his youngest son, Chandler, 24, took over the EAHS girls program in 2019, his son, Jordan is officially taking over the boys side this fall, if there’s a season.

“I did it for 10 years, and we’ve built a lot of success around here. Jordan had a lot to do with that as a player and as a club coach building all this,” BZ said.

“We started an Elkhorn club team back in 2012. Jordan played at Whitewater, where he also coached. He was running the club here, and offensively we turned into a scoring machine with stuff that Jordan brought to the table. We’ve been running his system,” he added.

BZ said the success has coincided with playing year-round and though he’s taking a step back, he isn’t exactly going to be sitting on his couch.

“I still want to be involved, and I will be during the season,” BZ said. “I want to be able to go and do things. Last summer, I didn’t boat one time. This summer, I’ve boated 13 times. I’ve given 100 percent, constantly, all the time.”

Keeping players home

Elkhorn’s soccer club started in 1978, and finally has a Director of Coaches, another title Jordan Kayser will embrace.

He gets to work with young kids, both boys and girls, and develop them to fit Elkhorn’s system.

Jordan, 27, and the family are invested in the community, and according to BZ, it’s time to pass the torch.

“I’m extremely proud. I don’t want them to think they’re in my shadow. I’m here to help. A lot of coaches who leave, they don’t want others to come in and be just as good. I want my sons to be way more successful than I have. I’m going to do everything I can to help,” he said.

“It’s a perfect time to hand things over. They are both students of the game. They both played college soccer. And they are building unbelievable coaching staffs,” BZ said.

For Jordan, keeping dad around has always been part of the plan. He also brought in Sam Novak – a semi-pro soccer player, Duncan Cassel – a former state champion goalkeeper coach, and is ready to continue the winning ways.

“I love it. When he stepped down, I wanted to make sure he was still involved. To be successful here, I need to surround myself with successful people,” Jordan said.

“I’m proud of this community. I’ve lived here my whole life. When I was a senior, and my brother was a freshman, we made our first trip to state, and that was my favorite memory of being here,” he said.

Jordan’s time

Jordan said he feels like it is his time and has been searching how to return the program to state.

“What dad’s done has been fantastic, and Chandler and I are trying to double what he’s done,” Jordan said.

BZ and Jordan finished practice a couple of weeks ago and said they’re preparing in the event there will be a season.

For now, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association says soccer practice will start Sept. 7.

“We just take it day by day. We have no idea what’s going to happen,” Jordan said.

According to BZ, as of right now, the first priority will be trying to have a conference season.

“They’re trying to make this work for us, and I love that they’re trying. Fingers crossed we’re going to play, and we’re mentally preparing ourselves to play,” BZ said.

Brothers, best friends

Jordan and Chandler are only 3 years apart and are best friends.

And, Jordan is Chandler’s assistant for the girls varsity squad.

“We are best friends. We’ve been best friends since we were little. We tell each other everything. We bounce ideas off each other every single day. Every day we talk,” Jordan said.

“You have no idea what our kitchen table is like when we’re together,” BZ added.

 For Jordan, the goal is about finally capturing that elusive gold ball.

“I want to win a gold ball. We haven’t got that yet. We got silver, but we need to get that gold ball,” Jordan said.

Chandler, 24, said he is blessed to be able to work with his family.

“I feel very blessed to coach the varsity girls team as my dad once did,” Chandler said.

“The two things I’ve learned the most from him is his intense preparation and his passion to win. Both things contributed to his success,” he said.

Chandler is currently busy on the field, hoping to play next spring after losing the 2020 spring soccer season.

He said he’s thankful for what they have been able to do.

“We have been fortunate to practice a little bit and play a couple games this summer,” Chandler said. “We are limited right now on what we can do, but at the end of the day being safe is most important.”

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