Whitefish Bay boys soccer coach Rob Dubinski has built a good staff of trusted assistants who know what they're doing.
They came in handy during the Blue Dukes' three-win effort last week when Dubinski had to step away for a few days to tend to a very important personal matter, as his he and his wife welcomed their third child into the world, Eve, on Sept. 29.
She joins two brothers ages 3½ and 1½. Dubinski laughed and said he and his wife "will look forward to not sleeping for the next few years".
He was also grateful little Eve came earlier than expected. If she didn't arrive naturally before then, she was slated to be induced Oct. 4, and that would have caused Dubinski some consternation.
"It was a good thing," he said with a chuckle, "because that's the day of the Homestead game."
As in the first-place showdown with fellow North Shore Conference unbeaten Homestead.
So right now, Dubinski is a happy man with much on his plate.
But as noted, with his assistants, which include Pat Krygiel and Riley Mewes leading the way, the top-ranked Blue Dukes have not skipped a beat in his absence. They completed a suspended North Shore Conference victory over Port Washington (5-1), routed Milwaukee Lutheran (10-0) in another North Shore victory and beat nonconference opponent Kettle Moraine, 3-0, last week.
The Blue Dukes went into the Homestead game at 5-0 in NSC play and 14-2 overall. They will be off until a North Shore tilt Monday, Oct. 10, at Grafton, which will be the closer to the league season. A win in the Homestead game would all but clinch the NSC title for Bay. The Blue Dukes won the D2 state title last season but were edged out for league honors by Cedarburg, who they turned around and beat in last November's state final.
"We can't clinch conference (against Homestead)," Dubinski said, "but we can put ourselves in the driver's seat."
Dubinski said the team is gradually getting healthier and healthier. A big returnee last week was senior playmaker Nicholas Anguil-Andriacchi, who has played in only a handful of games due to injury.
Dubinski did get back for the Kettle Moraine win and was pleased with what he saw.
In light of the injuries, many people have stepped up, he said, including four-year letter-winning forward Zavier Ware and defender/midfielder Shawn Azcueta, who had the game winner against Kettle Moraine off a corner kick.
Dubinski could not praise the efforts of Ware enough for both his finishing skills offensively and his intangibles.
"People questioned us when we brought him up (four years ago) as a freshman," Dubuinski said, 'but now he has such confidence as a senior, and with all our injuries, he really has become a leader.'
And as noted, with his ever-growing family, Dubinski loves the flexibility afforded by that leadership and by his veteran staff.
"The staff is amazing, and they all take pride in what they do," Dubinski said. "They work hard with the guys and can handle things well when I'm gone. They've really gone above and beyond in the last few weeks."
Little Miss Eve, in her own way, no doubt appreciates the help her Dad has received, too.