Cleats pound the grassy field as boys soccer players rush toward the other team in the hope of gaining possession of the ball. Swift movements and powerful kicks send the ball soaring across the field toward the competitor’s goal. Motivation to score the next goal in the game propels the boys forward and a final kick results in a goal being made, so that Tompkins leads against the competitor. Intensity and suspense such as this can be found in many of the games the boys soccer team has played this preseason, and with more to come as the team prepares for districts.
“Our goals this year were to try and not get scored on in games, to score two and three goals in a game and really go out and compete every night,” said head soccer coach and World History teacher Tom Jones.
With such ambitious goals in mind, Jones has pushed the team to improve upon their technique during each practice by working on possession and formations among other skills. The players practice Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, which lasts about an hour and a half each day, and play games on Tuesday and Friday. Dedication to their sport has brought the team far, even though there have been some highs and lows, but the team and Jones are excited with the position they are in currently.
“The season has been going pretty well. There is always lots of room for improvement. We’ve had a lot of tough games, a lot of close games, and a lot of ties. I think that’s because we’re competing at a higher level this pre-season. We are playing a lot more talented teams, and I’m very excited about the energy we are going to bring to districts,” said varsity boys soccer player, junior Harvey Jenkins.
Competing at the district level and having the ability to go further is exhilarating for many of the players, and they feel they have a strong team to head to districts with this year. With many returning players who are already familiar with the level of competition at districts, Jones is hoping that the team will be able to go all the way this year.
“We’re really looking forward to competing for the district championship. We bring back 10 out of the 11 starters, so we feel really good about that and hopefully we can get in the playoffs again and make a run for the state championships,” said Jones.
With district not far away, the team continues to push hard to earn their place in the state championship. Striving for a similar goal not only brings a team together under a common motive, but allows them to bond, and encourage one another as districts looms near.
“My favorite part about being on the team is probably just experiencing it. The bus rides with your friends, your brothers. I’m going to carry those experiences and carry my contacts with me throughout my life as I go. I wouldn’t trade it. I love being on the soccer team,” said Jenkins.