Boys soccer team prepares for the upcoming season


Jenny Wilkes

The boys soccer team poses for a team picture after their first and only game of last season. The players are excited for the chance to have a season.

After only playing one game last season, the boys soccer team is eager to get back on the field. Games will start in April and end mid to late May.  

The team’s coaching staff consists of Coach Cullen Haley, Coach Patricio Gonzalez and Coach Andrew Blackard. After considering the difficulties of the past year, the coaches made the decision not to hold tryouts. 

“There won’t be a tryout this year. We want to really reward the student athletes that need soccer as an outlet right now,” Haley said.

Conditioning began on March 8th. For the first two weeks, players were not allowed to touch the ball, which meant that they mainly focused on one thing:

“Running. A lot of it,” Joshua Wilkes (12) said.

Wilkes, who has been a player on the varsity team since his sophomore year, believes that they will face many obstacles, but remains optimistic. The team did not know they would have a season until February, so they started conditioning later than they usually would.  

“This is obviously a huge disadvantage compared to schools that haven’t had restrictions, but since we are Spartans, we should be able to overcome this obstacle,” Haley said. 

Furthermore, the team must face additional guidelines due to coronavirus, one of which being that players cannot touch the ball until one week after the roster is finalized. Players also are required to wear masks while they are conditioning. 

“We’ve been doing a lot of conditioning, but we haven’t really done much ball work yet,” Clark Thomas (9) said. 

Still, as a freshman, Thomas appreciates the chance to go to the school and have a season. This opportunity is particularly exciting for the seniors on the team, who will have a full season for the first time since their sophomore year.

“Obviously I’m excited and it’s my senior year—being able to represent the school in some way since we can’t really be at the school building,” Wilkes (12) said.

However, those who play for club teams find themselves facing a difficult decision. Antonio Villarreal (12) has played for the team for four years, although he likely will not play in most of the games this year due to injuries. 

“Some of them do have some tough decisions to make because some of them are playing for club right now, so they’re like ‘do I quit club and stop getting those college recruiters at tournaments and play school?’” Villarreal said.

Despite the challenges, the team is willing to make adjustments in order to play. 

“It’s easy to take for granted how things used to be, but now there is a chance to have some of those luxuries back,” Haley said. “…so I fully expect these student athletes to take full advantage.”