Kicking in the Season


Karissa Gonzales, Staff Reporter

Boys varsity soccer returns with no COVID-19 restrictions

The excitement is contagious. Without any COVID-19 restrictions and with new players on the team, boys varsity soccer is ready to begin their season.

This year’s season started off with some challenges. Vandegrift has a new boys soccer coach as well as new players joining the team. Seniors or other high school players who’ve left the team have made an impact on last season’s varsity team. 

“Last year, our team was composed of 17 seniors–that’s practically the whole team,” sophomore Rory Jacobs said. “This meant that this year was going to be a new challenge because our team has more underclassmen compared to last year’s team.”

Junior Ryan Asar agrees with Jacobs when it comes to changes to the team because the majority of their starting lineup last year was composed of seniors. A lot of new varsity players have had to fill roles this season and understand the work required for the team. 

“With a new coach this year, there has been a massive change in many aspects of our team because our new play style and formation have changed dramatically since last season,” Asar said. “However, we have spent a lot of time watching films and training tactically to seamlessly transition into this new style.”

Even with the new changes with the team, both Jacobs and Asar have a feeling this is going to be a good season. They believe they can compete for the district championship and go far in the playoffs.

“Our team has a lot of talent and character, which is exactly what you need to accomplish such things,” Asar said. “We’ve been working very hard these past few months and I can’t wait to see if it pays off during the season.”

Teamwork is a partial skill when it comes to soccer. However, individual hard work is just as necessary to help the whole team. 

“This season, I hope to improve the physicality aspect of the game by playing against kids that are two to three years older than me,” Jacobs said. “I also want to score my first goal for the vipers this season, but it will be a difficult task considering that I play defender, but I think I can do it.”

After working hard month after month with a team, winning games is a memorable moment during the season. Even on the bad days, some laughter and memories can come out of it. 

“After our final playoff game last season, you would not have been able to tell that we lost if you were on the bus ride home,” Asar said. “We celebrated the great season we had: overcoming injuries and putting up a great performance against the state champions. It really showed me that even after such a heartbreaking loss, we were still a family at the end of the day.”