By Mackenzie Wallace
While many see the new year as a time for resolutions and a fresh start on things, high school sports fans may be welcoming in the new year with the start of soccer season on their minds.
Both boy and girl varsity soccer teams have been putting in the extra efforts to prepare themselves for the upcoming season. Extra practices, conditioning, and weight lifting are a few measures that have been taken to allow the teams to succeed in the season.
“We’ve had lots of practice and lots of weight room, trying to get better, faster, stronger. We changed our fundamental formation to 4-3-2-1,” varsity boys soccer coach, Jason Hendrick, explained.
Hendrick goes on to describe what a typical practice may look like. “We start with individual skills and then move on to small side games. Then we go to special situations and large group team work,” Hendrick said.
The varsity girls experience similar preparations during practice to ready themselves for upcoming months. “We spend some time working on fitness, then we work on touches and ball control,” varsity girls soccer coach, Candace Pearson, said. “Then we spend some time focusing on one aspect of the game during drills.”
With all the time spent together in practice, games, and road trips comes the formation of tight-knit bonds between the players, all brought together by a mutual love of the sport. “I love the competition, the road trips, and the fact that my best friends are on the team. I honestly don’t know what I would do without soccer,” sophomore varsity soccer player, Sydney Torres said. This closeness helps the players communicate and focus while playing. “The girls work together well. There’s a lot of strong leadership which makes a big difference,” Pearson later said.
The varsity teams have been participating in a North East tournament from Thursday and will continue through Saturday. Both coaches have high expectations for the teams to kick off the season with a win that will hopefully lead to the play-offs in the upcoming months.