Twenty students sprint out of the locker room doors to the green turf with white painted lines, holding their cleats in hand. They start their warm up and begin perfecting technical skills and fitness. It appears to be getting dark, yet the players are still at the field running drills and scrimmaging, with the goal of making it further than they did last year. Tompkins’ 2020 soccer teams are led by girls coach Jarrett Shipman and boys coach Tom Jones.
Both the girls and boys recently finalized their teams after holding tryouts. Jones describes this year’s tryouts as the most competitive in school history. He believes that those who tried out this year bring a level of skill that is unmatched compared to last year. Shipman characterizes the recent tryout as equivalent to last year’s as there are many returning players, mostly current seniors.
“We bring back eight starters from last year’s team so there are not a lot of differences, but one thing is we have way more depth than last year,” said Jones.
Both teams consider Seven Lakes one of their hardest games of the season, especially because the rivalry between both schools is so strong. Throughout the season, Shipman wants to strengthen the team while Jones states that he wants the team to include a new way of play, which they will spend most of their time working on.
“I am looking forward to seeing how this team responds after last season. I feel we are hungrier than ever,” said Shipman.
The boys team ended the season last year as district champions and made it through several rounds of playoffs. They lost to Elsik High School when competing for the regional semi-final title. Their playoff presence has been cut short by Elsik, in this round, in three different years. This year, they hope to overcome this barrier they have faced.
“I am looking forward to another great season, last year the freshman and varsity won district titles, this year we are pushing for all three teams to win the district title,” said Jones.
The girls team made it to the state championship and got second in the state last year. Shipman hopes that the team’s closeness, mental toughness, and increased strength from last year will allow them to win the state title this year. Although, his biggest goal for the team is that they play their best in every game they have.
“My hopes for this year’s team is that we play hard every night and continue to represent this program for what it has become known for, which is a tough, hardworking, and confident team,” said Shipman.