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Seniors lead, soccer aims to improve

Since the beginning of summer, the boys? soccer program aimed to improve skills. Since the team placed third in league play, they tried to avoid another midseason debacle after starting last year with such promise.

A major step taken by the team was to participate in an indoor league and play futsal at the school?s gym on Monday nights from 6:30-9 P.M. These allowed the players to gain better ball control and make quick decisions while under pressure.

?The indoor league was a challenge,? Kyle Brewer, ?07, said. ?Since there are no out of bounds, it was important to have endurance. The games are played at a faster pace, so we had to decide what to do with the ball quickly.?

Since coach Ericlee Gilmore?s weightlifting and conditioning program ended with the boys? basketball team, the soccer boys begin practice with head coach Matt Markarian.

?Our conditioning held up fairly well last season,? Markarian said. ?This year we will leave no doubt we are the best conditioned team in the league.?

When Brewer suffered an injury in baseball, he was forced to choose another sport. Soccer provided an adequate alternative.

?I messed up my shoulder so I couldn?t play baseball,? Brewer said. ?That season I decided to play soccer. I?ve been playing since fourth grade and it?s been fun.?

The winter sport attracts new players along with its several returning players.

?I?ve always wanted to play, but I never thought I could do it,? Jason Harris, ?07, said. ?I like the intensity of soccer and the amount of effort that is necessary to compete.?

After a year of improvement and four wins in league, the boys? soccer team fills its roster with over eleven seniors, which is the largest number in school history.

?The team is mostly seniors this year,? Brewer said. ?We will have more experience and dedication than previous seasons.?

Markarian combines forces with assistant coaches Dave Bynum, Frankie Gonzalez and Andrew Martinez to lower the player-coach ratio.

?Coach Dave was a big help last year,? Markarian said. ?Frankie decided to help out after playing some of our team during the indoor league and at futsal. Andrew currently plays soccer at FPU (Fresno Pacific University) and brings experience to the team.?

After the first practice, the tone has been set for the rest of the year.

?This year our team has no excuse not to win,? Markarian said. ?Those who work hard at practice will see the field during the season.?

Sierra High will host the Eagles for their first game on Dec. 5. FC’s first home game will be against Central Valley Christian School on Dec. 6.

For more information on the soccer team or their schedule, contact Markarian at 709-4392 or click on Sports Schedules.

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