Team earns playoff berth, COVID -19 changes everything

Boys soccer team reflects on unfinished season

The+boys+soccer+team+hoped+to+return+to+the+field+after+Spring+Break+and+make+their+way+to+playoffs+after+earning+their+second+place+spot+in+district.+With+COVID+%E2%80%93+19%27s+%E2%80%9CStay+at+Home%E2%80%9D+order++there+was+only+one+safe+thing+to+do+which+was+to+cancel+playoffs+and+leaving+the+team%E2%80%99s+seniors+disappointed.

Jackie Orozco

The boys soccer team hoped to return to the field after Spring Break and make their way to playoffs after earning their second place spot in district. With COVID – 19’s “Stay at Home” order there was only one safe thing to do which was to cancel playoffs and leaving the team’s seniors disappointed.

Jackie Orozco, Staff Reporter

One last kick. One last goal. One last score. One last.

The last kick, goal, score of the season ended too early for the boys soccer team.

With hopes of returning to the field for playoffs, the varsity boys soccer team received the news that playoffs would not occur due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

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In arm link with his mom, Emanuel Gonzalez, senior, walks down in the annual Senior Night ritual. Gonzalez, member of the school’s varsity team for the past two years, shares his night and one of his last games of the season, with the fans of the team and his loved ones. “I want to say that it was special to play side by side with my brothers and also having not only a coach but also a second figure dad to me. Also, I’m thankful for him for helping me improve these past three years as a person and as a soccer player,” Gonzalez said.

The team ended their season with two losses, one tied game, and 13 wins in district play, to earn the spot of second place in the district’s rank. Many seniors bummed out over playoffs not taking place, opened their hearts and reminisced over their years of being part of the team. The team believed in one another and grew a strong bond through the year in preparation for playoffs, before the COVID outbreak. They had hoped to make it far into this year’s playoffs and make history for their team.

“I felt anger inside me hearing playoffs were canceled. Not only did we have a good chance of getting far but we had more to give and also more time to grow as the family that we are,” Emanuel Gonzalez, senior, said.

During the season the boys never disappointed the fans. Every Friday night they had the stands full at their home games, with loud cheers as they competed and gave their all on the field.

“I have accomplished many things in my high school soccer career. I was part of the 2019 6A all district team and I have made many friends throughout soccer. I have met people who I never knew before, from different schools, and even from Jersey Village. I’ve been on the team all four years and it has been one of the best four years of my life. I may not remember the days but I will remember the memories,” Avelino Gutierrez, senior, said.

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With control of the ball and with energy on the field, Avelino Gutierrez, senior, navigates his way toward the goal in their last game. “My freshman year to now has been a journey. I have grown both physically and mentally. I have become more mature and wise on how to play the game. I have figured out how to play the game with confidence and dedication, which was a skill I didn’t have my freshman year. I have also grown physically, I’ve gotten taller, faster and stronger, which are big factors of growth in soccer,” Gutierrez said.

As the team spent time together on and off the field, they not only improved as individual players but also as a team. The season allowed them to learn and bounce off one another. The team improved on their passes and communication on the field while at long, both hot and cold after school practices.

“I really enjoyed all the practices we had. I would enjoy messing around and telling jokes, but when we had to get serious, we got right to it. I loved seeing everyone grow as a team and have such a strong bond. I’m glad I get to call everyone my brother, and this is something I’ll never forget.” Carlos Resendiz, senior, said.

The boys on and off the field kept their energy up all throughout the season, grew as individuals, a team and a family, and created a camaraderie.

Jackie Orozco
With Clinton Dyer, varsity head coach, the senior guys share a memorable moment as a team to celebrate a game in honor of the senior team members before an unexpected end to their high school soccer career. “As a player, I’ve become a more tranquil player when in the game. I’ve changed my type of playing to one that it’s best and most beneficial for the team and although it took some time to adapt, this season we’ve seen the results. As an individual, I have realized many things and what’s actually important, and that’s thanks to Coach Dyer.” Marco Rodriguez, senior, said.

“I played on varsity my freshman, junior and now senior year. I would’ve played all four years on varsity but my sophomore year a decision was made for me to play Academy soccer. I feel like the environment we’ve created is something that won’t be seen in a while and I’m definitely going to miss that. Also, that rush and excitement coming into home games is something that I will miss,” Marco Rodriguez, senior, said.

Although the seniors had to say goodbye to the field early, the underclassmen team members were also disappointed in the news of playoffs being called off.

“I felt bad because we had worked so hard and for our season to end like this, it was pretty hard to take in. It’s sad to think that we won’t be able to play after so much work we put into the season to make it to playoffs and it just be taken away from us this way,” Santiago Munos, freshman, said.

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In efforts to keep the ball steady, Fabio Hernandez, senior, reaches for the ball to keep it coordinated and able to pass it to one of his teammates at their last game against Stratford High School. The 2020 season was Hernandez’s first year on varsity but left a huge mark, as he helped lead the team to many victories and scored many goals throughout their season.

Not given the chance to share one last game full of the fans’ cheers, the team’s prayer circle,high fives and the hype of one another, the boys hope to keep their relationships with the seniors in their hearts as they move onto a new chapter in their life.

“I felt disappointed knowing we could’ve gone far in playoffs. I wish to tell the leaving senior players to take care in college and thank them for giving me the opportunity to play with one of the best teams,” Careem Flores, freshman, said.

Despite the outbreak of COVID 19 and social distancing put in place, the boys still had hope to return to the field.

“I was preparing myself, I was running, and working with the ball every day to stay sharp. It was heartbreaking, after such an amazing regular season. We were all excited to go into playoffs and hopefully make it far. I was hoping to make it as far as possible, a state championship was the goal, and I think this year we were going to be strong contenders,” Diego Olvera, senior, said.

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Just because the outbreak of COVID ruined the chance for the soccer team to play at playoffs doesn’t mean the boys won’t cherish their memorable moments on the team. Carlos Resendiz, senior, cheers on his teammate as he watches the game from the side lines. That night was full of smiles, laughs and hard work on the field as they played one of the hardest teams in the district. “I really enjoyed all the practices we had, I would enjoy messing around and telling jokes, but when we had to get serious, we got right to it. I loved seeing everyone grow as a team and have such a strong bond. I’m glad I get to call everyone my brother, and this is something I’ll never forget,” Resendiz said.

Even though the breakout of COVID-19 ended an opportunity for the soccer boys to begin their journey in playoffs, the seniors will keep their memories of the games, their coach, their fans and the teammates close to their hearts.

“I will miss the game, the competition, the drive I would get before, it’s a feeling that can’t be explained. I will miss the pain and adrenaline. I will miss the feeling of playing with my family, and fighting for the win. I will miss being able to feel my body working hard and feeling my hot blood run through my veins during a game. I will miss the fact that every time I stepped on the field all my troubles would be gone and that the only thing that mattered at that time was the field and its beautiful game. I will miss playing for Jersey Village High School,” Gutierrez said as his final words.

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Diego Olvera, senior, blocked many goals this season as keeper, he had hoped to return to the field for playoffs. Olvera was preparing himself in case they ever did get to step back on the field. “I was preparing myself, I was running, and working with the ball every day to stay sharp,” Olvera said. “It was heartbreaking, after such an amazing regular season, We were all excited to go into playoffs and hopefully make it far. I’ve learned that no matter what the situation is, you always have to work as a team and never argue to get things done. I was hoping to make it as far as possible, a state championship was the goal, and I think this year we were going to be strong contenders. Unfortunately, I was not planning on continuing soccer, mostly because of my body, after so many years of me pushing myself for the max. My body cannot handle anymore,” Olvera said.