Soccer Preps for Success

The arrival of the 2014 high school soccer season is almost upon us,which means that a great deal of effort and preparation must go into selecting the team and getting them ready for the upcoming season.

Jake Matise, Columnist

Horizon Honors high school soccer tryouts for both boys’ and girls’ begins Nov. 3. For soccer coach Patrick Andrew, this means it is time to start preparing for the season ahead.  Recently, the team organized a car wash to help raise funds for the fast-approaching season, as well as the another one the team set up on Oct. 9 and 10. Preparing the team to face its opponents in the winter months does have its challenges. According to Andrew, the main conflict for his team is accommodating the schedules of the players. “Some of them are playing volleyball, some of them are on club soccer teams, and some of them are doing different things altogether,” Andrew stated. “And that schedule makes it challenging, in terms of really getting them organized together.”

According to Coach Andrew, many spots are available on both the boys’ and girls’ teams. He is anticipating about 12 returning players for the boys’ team, with a roster of 20. There are more spots available this year due to the addition of a JV boys’ team.

Getting the team game-ready to face their first opponent usually takes about two and a half to three weeks, Coach Andrew said. “Our season is a difficult one, because we just get the team into shape, and then we have Thanksgiving break, which just about kills everything, and kind of makes everything really challenging,” he added.

This year, the Horizon Honors soccer team will be facing different opponents than they have in the past, because of the cuts made to soccer divisions – now only three, down from five. “This has changed this year because we’ve changed conferences, so now we’re playing up against schools that are five, six times bigger, schools that may have 2,000 kids,” said Andrew.  “So this time around, the toughest challenge is playing against schools that have more players to draw from.”

Anna Jacobs, a junior at Horizon Honors, shared her thoughts on the upcoming season. “I’m pretty excited,” Jacobs said. “Usually I play volleyball, but this is my first time trying soccer since second grade.” Jacobs also added that she has been playing soccer and kicking the ball around with friends to help prepare her for the approaching season.

Aaron Tam, a sophomore, is also excited for the arrival of the new soccer season. “I was on the team last year, and it was a lot of fun,” stated Tam. To better prepare himself for the winter season and improve his skill set, he played soccer over his summer break. “I played over the summer with a lot of kids from school, and I’ve just been working on soccer for a long time.”

Students interested in learning more about the tryout process for soccer and other winter sports should attend the informational meeting on Oct. 21 at 6:00 p.m. High school winter athletics paperwork is due Tuesday, Oct. 28.