New Start to Boys Soccer Season

Shriya Rajagopalan, Editor the Nestline

As soccer season kicks off, the new youthful batch orientes themselves to the familiarity and hardships of the season. Working hard to practice after school, the young athletes prepare for their biggest rival game against Seven Lakes High School. These young athletes race across the field determined to get the ball into the goal. Their hair is filled with sweat while they feel it drip down their cheeks while they are ever so careful to avoid sudden injuries.

“The team this year is like a family; they all go out to eat together and hang out together. We try to create a family atmosphere so they’re like brothers,” said head boys soccer coach Tom Jones.

These young athletes begin practices during seventh period and continue throughout the evening. Jones encourages them to improve their technical ball work. Another common activity Jones does is incite a little competitiveness within these athletes to fight for positions, helping to push them against each other.

“So far this season has been pretty good, I knew we were going to struggle a little bit with our youth, but they’re coming along and we’re starting to get a lot better,” said Jones.

The team had 22 seniors graduate last year forcing them to step up with their younger players. This motivation has helped these young players work harder to become better athletes. Jones hopes to push the younger athletes to help the team succeed.

“We use positive mojo which is based on my daughter who passed away from cancer. She just led with positivity so that is what our motivating factor,” said Jones.

In 2015, Jones’ daughter passed away from cancer, and to commemorate her,  he creates a positive atmosphere with his athletes and motivates them to do their best. It is important to him that he honors his daughter’s memory by being optimistic.

“I enjoy being around the guys. It is like a family; I get to joke around, be serious, and compete,” said Jones. “ Some of their strengths are team camaraderie: they play well as a team- we have some individual talented guys, we just got to put them in the right spot.”

While the team’s major strength is how close they are with each other, they can work on their possession, physicality and moving the ball a lot quicker than they have been.