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Injuries, fundamentals hurt soccer team

Many obstacles faced the boys’ soccer team as they entered a new season. Through a loss of players from the past years and a struggle to teach the basics to the newer players, coach Matt Markarian was optimistic about his new team. The boys however seemed to have mixed opinions about the season.

“We haven’t done as well as we thought we would,” forward Rusty Tucker, ’04, said. “People don’t really care. They don’t seem that inspired. Even my lucky button didn’t seem to work all that well the second half of the season.”

The boys are 2-9 in the West Sierra League. Being a small school, the injuries that occurred during the football season also made a considerable impact on the soccer field. Due to injury some of the boys have played a different position than they are use to playing.

“Injuries we had during football, took some of our returning players,” coach Markarian said as he prepared himself and his team for the game against Riverdale on January 29, 2002. “We play hard but we still need to get the basics down.”

Through the various trials they faced, Evan Stradley, ’02, who plays the teams’ sweeper position, has enjoyed the new season.

“It’s been a tough year but we are having fun and we’ve grown close as a team since the beginning of the year,” Stradley said.

The teams’ fullback, Nathan Heinrich, ’02, agreed that their team is very close. He felt that it has made the season more enjoyable.

“We especially love the team managers,” Heinrich said. “They are an inspiration to us.”

The boys have been practicing every day from 2-4:30p.m. They have been playing a lot of scrimmages to prepare themselves for their upcoming games.

“We are playing the ball to corner flags and have our guys running to it,” Tucker said.

Forward Josh Shamblin, ’02, has played FC soccer for four years. He said that the team is feeling discouraged and they hope that the coach will be more encouraging.
“It is hard when you are already discouraged to have the coach come down on you hard,” Shamblin said. “We need to learn more about the fundamental skills of soccer.”

The boys’ next game will be at Tranquility on Feb. 1. Their next home game will be against Mendota on Feb. 5.

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