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Fries steps up for final year of soccer

After a lifetime of playing soccer, senior Zed Fries has stepped into a new role on the FC team. Displaying confidence within his skill and seniority, Fries has found his niche as a leader for his teammates.

Fries’s father encouraged him to join the sport at Fancher Creek Schools — then he later transferred to FC. As David Fries has watched his son progress, he found pride in witnessing Fries’s ability to influential others with his attitude.

“Zed began playing soccer in kindergarden where I coached his team for many years,” David said. “His hard work and drive has made him better every year. I enjoy watching his speed, ball-handling and drive to never quit and most of all his attitude of lifting those around him to play harder and encouraging them to forget their errors.”

As Fries continues to gain experience, soccer has always remained interesting because of camaraderie and competition, he says.

“I enjoy the rush and the adrenaline that comes with the sport,” Fries said. “The running head-on toward monster-teens with beards knowing what you can do to make them look like fools is just an intense feeling. I keep playing because it’s a joy for me and to continue playing with the guys I’ve been playing with since elementary school.”

When comparing and assessing the current team to that of previous years, Fries appreciates the level of commitment each person has for the sport.

“This year, the team is much bigger and has more skill than in previous years,” Fries said. “We also play more fluidly than before. We all like to joke around and mess around but always do our best when it comes down to it.”

Considering his role as a senior, Fries aims to motivate younger players to become dedicated in order to build up the soccer program for the future. Creating a close-knit team will allow their play to come naturally, he says.

“The team is bigger this year and we have a lot of ‘fresh meat’ to include into the soccer team for the coming years,” Fries said. “I encourage the upcoming players to practice often and to really get to know your teammates. Once you really know the players you can start to move and play almost without thinking.”

Head Coach Matt Markarian believes that Fries’s constant desire to improve and his ability to maintain focus provides underclassmen with a player to model.

“He’s not a real vocal guy, but Zed leads with his effort,” Markarian said. “He’s progressed a ton and he is definitely one of our leaders that plays hard. He gives his complete effort all of the time.”

One goal Fries has for his senior year is to make a lasting impression on upcoming players to leave a legacy.

“I try to be a positive role model show them to keep their heads high even when the situation looks grim,” Fries said. “I want to leave my legacy behind. I want kids to talk about me in years to come long after I’m gone. I’m looking forward to spending time with these guys I’ve learned to love especially knowing I only have one more semester before I may never see them again.”

Teammate Juan Ruelas, ’13, has noticed that strength of Fries’s senior year in soccer has sparked a desire to lead.

“I’m really surprised this year to see Zed step up and take charge as a senior,” Ruelas said. “Even though he’s not a captain he carries himself like one. He hasn’t taken charge before, but this year he has.”

Looking ahead to after graduation, Fries applied and was accepted to one university where he will be attending next fall, planning to enhance his talents for use on the mission field.

“I plan to go to college up in Washington at Whitworth University to study music and psychology,” Fries said. “After that, I would like to live as a missionary for a few years in the Dominican Republic.”

In attempt to make senior year memorable, Fries wants to prove his skill and work harder than ever in practice and in games.

“I plan to go out with a bang and win as many games as we can,” Fries said. “I’ve gotten a lot better than past years and I intend to get even better to show FC what I’m made of.”

Reflecting on his soccer career, Fries finds areas where the sport taught valuable lessons concerning a team mentality and endurance which will allow him to succeed later in life.

“I’ve learned sometimes it doesn’t matter how something affects me or makes me feel, that I need to suck it up and push through by giving my all so that those around me can benefit from it,” Fries said. “I’ve learned to push forward through trials and to trust in others to help me get where I need to be.”

The Eagles will next face Fowler, opening up the West Sequoia League, Jan. 10.

For more information on boys’ soccer, read the Dec. 16 article, Boys’ soccer sport shorts: Garces Holiday Soccer Festival. For more information on FCS sports, visit the Fresno Christian Athletics web page.

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  • A

    adam woodJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Mr. Ogdon I will get you a hat as well. Unless you already have one in mind.

  • M

    McKay MohunJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I’d like to say my had could transform between safari mode and Tom Sawyer mode; this was an amazing day. I will tell tales of this great day.

  • J

    Joshua JimenezJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Those hats are so funny. McKay Mohun also had a cool safari hat. Also these guys are some of the coolest guys in school.

  • A

    Allison CamdenJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    The Friday hats were hilarious! I loved Mckay’s safari hat! He totally rocked it.

  • R

    Raine HayesJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I am so looking forward to seeing what else these guys come up with this year! I love the hats so far, hope you guys keep up entertaining us all!

  • M

    Matthew JonesJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    That would be a hat from Russia

  • M

    michael ogdonJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Are the themes available to the rest of us? I want in!

  • T

    Tyler LairdJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I didn’t hear much about the two in the picture at school, but I remember coming into AP US History and seeing McKay in his hat sitting there with a weird smile on his face. It was rather funny.

  • L

    Logan RoodJan 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    The hats that Daniel, Adam and Mckay wore today were hilarious. They should get the whole football team in on it. It definitely makes them stand out.