Varsity soccer makes great gains

| April 7, 2017

By Juan Villanueva | Big Stick editor |

At the beginning of this year, Darnell Barnes and Ali Goljahmofrad were determined to change the soccer program for the better. The most important changes included giving the players more discipline and commitment along with changing practice time.

“We started with a group of 120 guys. I changed practice from after school to 6:30 in the morning which got rid of about 40 guys that really didn’t want to be here,” Barnes said.

From the roughly 60 that did stay, 23 of those players remained in varsity.

“Coach Barnes and Coach G. changed the program by being more strict and even the expectations that we have to follow,” senior Omar Talamantes said. “They really changed the team.”

Team shirts were made available in red, white and blue.

The season began with the the team focusing on finding a team shirt. The final design was decided by Goljahmofrad, who got the idea from the languages spoken by the team.

“Our team, like our campus, is made up of people from all parts of the world who contribute in their own unique way. And, because we have ONE common goal, it works,” Goljahmofrad said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re Black, White, Brown, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, or whatever, we’re family based on the love we have for each other, and the effort we’re willing to put in for the person next to us.”

The team shirt goes to represent the unity that was brought by the team this year with the word “ONE” in the middle. While the word “FAMILY” spread around the “ONE” in the languages of Spanish, English, Arabic, French, Swahili, Farsi, Ewe and Thai, represents the eight languages spoken by the team.

Samaniego in action in a game against MacArthur. Photo by Raven Taylor

“When you are in the field you forget everything, the languages, and the backgrounds,” senior Jose Ganhdi Samaniego said. “You just trust the player behind you and even if you don’t know that person, you know soccer makes you a family.”

Overall, varsity managed to win eight games, lost 10 and tied on two. This showed an improvement from last year, in which the team only won four games, lost 17 and tied on one. Unfortunately, however, the team lost the last district game against Reagan that would have taken them to playoffs.

“Even with the loss we learned a lesson,” Barnes added. “I always feel like a loss isn’t the end of everything.”

Tionne Henderson contributed to this report

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This is my third and last year in newspaper here at Roosevelt, but hopefully not the end of writing. I will hopefully continue writing in college and so forth.

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