As the 2019-2020 school year begins, so does the majority of fall sports. Boys soccer happens to be one of these sports, having some practices take place in the summer.
This will be soccer coach Matt Jenkins’s second year leading the team into season. Many people join soccer for different reasons, Jenkins found the desire to coach through what he’s passionate about in life.
“I love soccer and I love working with kids,” he said. “It seemed like a natural fit.”
For others, soccer has been with them throughout their lives.
“I played soccer all my life,” senior Andrew Click said. “And I was looking forward to playing in high school on a more competitive type league.”
Although it’s just the beginning of the season, the soccer team has already been able to put in work, trying to get ready for the season.
“Practices are going good,” sophomore Jackson Maracle said. “We’ve been practicing all summer. We stretch, we do a warm-up drill where we just practice touches, and it’s mostly just practicing passes and different types of touches.”
Jenkins believes that having a good team bond is an important factor in soccer.
“We’ve got a really good group of guys,” he said. “So I believe that we’re going to foster a really good spirit because we really need to work for each other if we’re going to succeed this season.”
Being the start of a season, it may take time to create a bond with the new players. However, Click feels that the team already feels like a family.
“We’re all like brothers,” he said. “We all goof around with each other and act like best friends, even the ones we just met.”
Other players enjoy the bonds they’ve made with players they’ve already been able to share the field with.
“It’s very brotherly,” Maracle said. “I look at Alex or Darius, who I’ve been playing with for a long time, and we’re good pals.”
While it is a new season, some find it’s important to look back on last season. More importantly, what it taught everybody.
“I’ve got a year [of experience] under my belt,” Jenkins said. “Last year was my first year, so I think hopefully we’ll have a better idea of what we need to do, what’s required, and what the standard needs to be. Most of our guys have another year under their belt. A lot of guys last year, it was their first season ever playing 11v11, so it was a different kind of game. They’re more experienced and hopefully, this season will help us get some results.”
Others are looking forward to what the season will bring, and are hoping to improve from last year’s season.
“I expect us to get a couple wins,” Click said. “More than last year.”
Maracle agrees, believing that the team is determined this season.
“We’re getting better,” he said. “We have the will to get better.”
Click believes their team may be at a disadvantage in the game.
“Weaknesses is that we’re all pretty short compared to most of the other people we play,” Click said. “And we don’t have the most endurance. But we all have good chemistry with each other, so I’d say that’s our strength.”
Others believe it’s more mental than physical issues that could hold them back.
“A weakness would be inexperience,” Jenkins said. “We’ve got a lot of ninth-graders, some tenth graders.”
However, Jenkins believes that it could also be an advantage.
“But that’s also a strength because they don’t know what to be scared about,” he said. “They feel open and ready to do things, they feel good. All of these freshmen coming in will not have the baggage of playing last year.”
Maracle shares similar feelings about having new players.
“We’re a young team and we have a lot of new players,” he said. “So we’re just not as used to playing with each other.”
The boy’s soccer team is looking forward to the upcoming season and what’s to come.
“I expect us to work hard, and be a team that the school and the community can be proud of,” Jenkins said.