Senior leadership developers soccer success

By Karen Clifton — The sun is setting and a crisp breeze fills the air. All stadium lights are turned on, and the boys, dressed in green and gold, take the field. For some it may be just another game, however for the boys’ soccer team’s 18 seniors, it is one of their last.

Feeling the pressure.

Finally reaching seniority is an exciting thing for many athletes, as he or she is usually considered “the best” at what they do. Regardless of its truth, it puts a lot of stress on a player individually to perform at his best.

“It puts a lot of pressure on you when you know you’re expected to have a good season with such an old team,” senior Sam Lioi said.

But for this boy’s team, being pressured is not too worrisome.

“I do believe teams notice that we have probably the most experienced team in the league and expect us to compete and be successful,” coach Noah Dockus said.  “I actually think it forces us to be more focused knowing we will take everyone’s best shot.”

Passing the buck

Having so many seniors, the team has developed a strong sense of leadership.

“I try to set a good example and give my best effort. It’s important to be a good role model,” senior Kyle Kolarik said.

By being a good role model—training hard, controlling emotions and learning how to help one another, allows for such great success the boys have had throughout the season thus far.

“The seniors have also shown the maturity to learn from a game and/or mistakes and move on,” Dockus said. “We have had three weeks in a row where we play every other day and with that kind of schedule you have to learn and move on very quickly, mentally and physically.“

Along with leadership and maturity, the seniors also demonstrate proper forms of respect, which they hope the underclassmen will obtain and pass along to future teammates.

Finishing as runner-up at districts last year, the team has even higher hopes for this year’s championship, including becoming Federal League and district champions, along with making it to the regional final. a great success.

“So far, we are still within reach and on track to reach all of our goals, which keeps us very motivated,” Dockus said.Having great success after defeating Copley, who was third in the state, in a pre-season scrimmage, the boys knew it was only the beginning of a great season. After beating Copley, the team went on to play inner-league teams. Even having to play Hoover early on proved to be

“Beating Hoover was one of the best feelings,” Kolarik said. “It put us in control of our Federal League destiny.”

Celebrating success

Finishing as runner-up at districts last year, the team has even higher hopes for this year’s championship, including becoming Federal League and district champions, along with making it to the regional final.

“So far, we are still within reach and on track to reach all of our goals, which keeps us very motivated,” Dockus said.     Having great success after defeating Copley, who was third in the state in a pre-season scrimmage, the boys knew it was only the beginning of a great season.

After beating Copley, the team went on to play inner-league teams. Even having to play Hoover early on proved to be

“Beating Hoover was one of the best feelings,” Kolarik said. “It put us in control of our Federal League destiny.”

Currently 4-0-1 within the league, the team is now in first place, and hoping to maintain their status.

Thanks for the memories

With just about a month left, the season is coming to a close. For many of the seniors, these games will be their last competitive games of soccer.

“When I’m at the soccer banquet at the end of the year this year, it will truly feel surreal. I’ve been so close with all of these guys for so long, it will be awful to part ways, and they will be what I miss the most,” Lioi said.

Many of the same feelings as shared among other seniors, as most have been playing together since the beginning of high school, with others being teammates since middle school.

“I’m going to miss being with my teammates both on and off the field,” Kolarik said. “We’ve become like a family.”

Although at the end of the season, the boys are continuing their success, while also instilling underclass teammates the values of being a team.

By doing so, future teams will have just as much success in their seasons, and the soccer program will have created its own legacy.

 [Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]