More than black and white

Boys’ soccer team looks to defy expectations with new coach


Senior John Powell dribbles through the Pine Tree defense in a district game. The boys’ team looks to overcome adversity and find some success this season.

Story by John Morgan, sports editor

Your reputation speaks for itself. Unfortunately, you’re not always the one who gets to choose it.

The boys’ soccer team is looking to shed the past as they embark on a new season. After a winless district record last year, they hope reinvent their identity in a new district and with new leadership.

A coaching change might reinvigorate the team as former girls’ coach Jesus DeLeon moves over into the managerial role. With the change, the team has begun to shift its playing mentality to match its needs.

“Our focus has shifted more towards defense this year,” senior John Powell said. “That’s really what killed us last year, so that’s what we have to focus on.”

Defense was a weak suit for the team last year as many games saw the Tigers struggle to break into the attacking half of the field. The players have taken note and will look to implement new schemes to better protect their goal.

“I think compared to last year, we’re going to be a lot more defensive this year,” Powell said. “We’re going to really stack the back line and the midfield of our team.”

Often, a language barrier has hindered the teams’ successes, but this year, DeLeon, a bilingual coach, has looked to unite the team and increase team interactions on the field.

“Every team has to have good communication to be a good team and to be successful,” senior Kemper York said. “I think we can expect to see a different team than last year.”

Teamwork has been heavily emphasized in practice and is something that many team members believe will be crucial to their success this season.

“I think we started out as a team of individuals,” York said. “We’re starting to come together as team, though, and developing into the cohesive unit needed to be successful.”

While it seems the team can only go upward from an abysmal season last year, they still have goals they hope to reach that will define success for the team.

“We just need to stay focused,” Powell said. “Last year, we really weren’t sure what exactly we wanted out of each other in the season, so we just need to keep our minds right.”