An athlete’s guide to succeeding in soccer

Steven Sandoval, Contributing Writer

Soccer has always been what made me special.  From the time I was five years old, it was the only thing I loved to do.  I started by playing with the Port Washington Inter-town team.  Since then I have worked very hard to now be leading the varsity soccer team for my second year.  It is crazy to think that at the end of October I will be done representing Schreiber on the field.

At the start of freshman year I played right midfield.  I had a minor role at this time, doing whatever I could to help the team.  I respected my captains and looked up to them, always doing what they said.  From the start of the season, I fell in love with varsity soccer.  Although I was also playing with Albertson pre-Academy, Schreiber varsity was the only team that made me really feel like I was part of a team. Players on Albertson did not care about the team and were only concerned with their own performance with the hopes that scouts would see them.  I still remember some guys bleaching their hair just to stand out from everyone else.  On varsity though, there are no selfish players.  We fight for each other and never give up.  We help lift teammates’ spirits when things are not going well and even get together on Fridays just to have dinner with everyone. The team is more of a community where we are all working hard for a common goal.  We also had some pretty great fans cheering us on from the school.  On varsity we all have that family mentality.  My freshman year I scored four goals and had two assists.  I was very pleased with my hard work, but still aimed to get better.

When sophomore year began, I had to choose between continuing playing for varsity and playing for Albertson.  From my great experience the previous year it was not a hard decision; I had to pick varsity.  I wanted to play for a team, and not just for myself, which was the main reason I stayed.

On varsity we always work hard.  At the start of practice we run a few warm up laps and stretch.  I still remember the football team looking at us run and saying, “see, this is why I hate soccer.”  After our hard workout, Coach Fish talks to us and gives drills to work on our technical ability.  We all want to win and always focus on what is necessary to be ready for game day.

Although our practices are intense, they are not too serious.  Everyone on the team has a true passion for soccer, and even during drills we have fun.  After drills, we usually end practice with a scrimmage.  This is usually everyone’s favorite part.  Every person on the team expresses themselves in their own way.  We have senior Alexis Rivera dribbling by kids with his crazy footwork while senior Teddy Tannenbaum uses his strength to his advantage.  Everyone always has fun, but we still work hard.  Sometimes we may not be the most talented team on the field, but on game day, we make sure we’re the hardest working team out there.

I am so proud to be a captain with Tannenbaum and senior Daniel Ernst by my side.  Since the start of the season, the whole team has been very comfortable around each other.  Most teams do not get a second season with the same team like us, and we are ready to take it and go far.  In soccer you never get many chances to score.  Some games can even end 0-0.  We usually try to stay away from that so people can watch our games and get excited.

We play to win every game, and hopefully will make the playoffs.  Anything is possible with the group of guys we have this year and I am excited to see our hard work pay off.