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Senior leads team with intensity, looks to playoffs

In his last year of high school, senior JP Caprioglio looks forward to making this a highlight year for the varsity boys’ soccer team. Caprioglio plans on taking the initiative and leading his team to the playoffs as serving as one of the three team captains.

Caprioglio played soccer during his freshman and sophomore year at San Joaquin Memorial High School. It was at Memorial that Caprioglio really began to sharpen his soccer skills, mentally and physically.

Having participated in two other varsity sports, football and baseball, Caprioglio hopes to prove himself a true three-sport athlete. Due to the football season being cut one week short, Caprioglio has had extra time to prepare himself for the soccer season.

“Since football ended a week short, I have had some time to breakdown exactly how I want this soccer season to go,” Caprioglio said. “I am definitely expecting our team to go to playoffs. I am also hoping to put some intensity in the younger players so that our future teams will compete at the top of their game. There is no doubt that this will be a good year for the varsity boys’ soccer team.”

Since he began playing as a kid, Caprioglio has many years of experience with soccer. He originally joined the soccer team in kindergarten because his friends played, and he thought it sounded like fun.

“I started playing soccer in kindergarten,” Caprioglio said. “My parents found out all my friends were playing and thought I might enjoy it, so they asked if I wanted to play. Now that I look back on it, I am really happy that I decided to play.”

Caprioglio’s father, Paul Caprioglio, has always supported his son when it comes soccer. Paul said that he is proud of his son and what he has accomplished.

“I’m proud of JP for sticking with soccer for so long,” Paul said. “I was surprised when he decided to play football and risk being injured for soccer, but I think it has pumped him up. He should be a very intense player this year.”

Alongside baseball, soccer has established itself as Caprioglio’s favorite sport. He says that he loves the game and how it is played.

“I just love the whole concept of soccer,” Caprioglio said. “I love the feeling of being satisfied, like when you make a good play or score a goal. It just brings me satisfaction and makes me feel good.”

While he has many positive things to say about soccer, Caprioglio has a few dislikes about the sport as well. He said that it is never fun when an opponent gets too physical.

“I don’t like going against teams that play dirty,” Caprioglio said. “It ruins the game when they take cheap shots at our players and intentionally try to injure them. I don’t play like that, nor do I support it, but when we do end up playing those kinds of teams, we just have to give the best of our ability and have a good attitude.”

Freshman Bailey Brogan, who is the team’s goalie, says that playing with Caprioglio benefits the whole team with his leadership and level of play.

“Playing with JP makes the game much more intense,” Brogan said. “He expects a lot from us {the team} and always challenges us to do better. Sometimes we follow through with what he wants us to do and sometimes we don’t, but either way, he is always encouraging.”

Having played for 12 years, Caprioglio has had many highlight moments. He said the greatest moment of his soccer career was in a tournament when he was 11 years old.

“My favorite moment was probably in a tournament when I was 11, and I scored the winning goal,” Caprioglio said. “It came down to penalty kicks and I was the fifth one to kick. I kicked it off the goal post and it somehow rolled into the goal. Everyone threw me on their shoulders, and it felt awesome.”

Caprioglio has influenced many of his teammates since he started going to FC his junior year. Friend and fellow teammate, senior Dominic Mendoza says he enjoys playing with Caprioglio due to the chemistry they have together on the field.

“I love playing with JP because of the fluid passes we can make together,” Mendoza said. “We always know where the other one will be between plays. We really communicate well on and off the field.”

Even though it is his favorite sport and he has played for so long, Caprioglio will most likely not be playing in college. He said that he cannot see himself taking it his career very much farther.

“I am probably not going to play soccer in college,” Caprioglio said. “I want to be able to focus on my studies in college, and I know that sports can be very time consuming. I can’t really see myself going pro or anything like that, so I plan on just playing in pick-up games every once in a while.”

The coaching staff are proud to have such a valuable player on their team. Head varsity boys’ soccer coach Matt Markarian says that he is excited to see Caprioglio play and how he has improved since last year.

“I can’t wait to see JP play this year,” Markarian said. “Last year he was a good player but this year I think he will be a great player. There is no doubt he will come out ready to play. I think he is going to be a key factor in taking this team to the playoffs.”

For more sports, read the Dec. 3 article, Girls’ soccer sport shorts: Fowler Lions Tournament.

The varsity boys’ soccer team will next play at Fowler and will document the girls soccer team in the Fowler Lions Tournament, Dec. 6-8.

The boys will play road games at the Garces Tournament in the Bronze Division.

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