The varsity soccer team continues gaining victories, despite the many challenges presented by COVID-19. From socially distancing to competing in fewer games, the varsity team was still able to keep a more normal competing season.
As a sport that requires players to work well with their teammates, the team continued to emphasize team-bonding all while following coronavirus safety restrictions.
“The team is awesome and we all have a great bond,” junior and varsity player Ethan Karam said. “Each player wants to achieve our goal of winning districts, and we all put in the work at practice and games to reach that objective.”
Although some COVID-19 restrictions are still being enforced like wearing masks and not being able to pick up equipment, the severity of these rules has lightened since the beginning of the school year.
“Since soccer is outdoors, there were fewer restrictions on practice compared to many other sports,” senior Mason Boyd said. “However, when things first started opening up in 2020, we had to be contactless at all times and weren’t allowed to touch the ball with our hands. It was difficult at first, but once restrictions were lifted, we were back to practicing normally again.”
From Monday through Friday, team practices start at 3:30 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. They start off with a keep-away game, then run a lap and afterwards head into a dynamic warm-up.
“We normally end with a small scrimmage,” Karam said. “I also always do a handshake with my teammate for good luck right before the game starts.”
As of May 27, the team is number two in the district, following six wins and three losses.
“I would say the most challenging part about playing soccer is the physical and mental demands,” Boyd said. “While in season, you have to be at the top of your skill and physical level. During the games and practices, you’re constantly put into [pressuring] and stressful situations.”
On June 7, varsity soccer will be playing in the district championship against Madison High School. The team is preparing for the game by watching previous game videos, working on mistakes and watching the opponents videos to see any flaws they can exploit.
“I have met some of my closest friends through soccer,” Boyd said. “The best part about competing with a team is the energy and desire to win. It’s a great feeling after making a save and having everyone cheer you on.”