Going Forward Through It All

By Saeri Plagmann, Features Editor

The Kennedy Varsity Boys Soccer Team experienced one of the most challenging seasons yet, showing a current league score in the Metropolitan Conference of 2-4-2 and an overall score of 3-7-3. Currently in fifth place, many anticipate their standings to improve within the five games left.

The team faced their biggest obstacle mid-season when they underwent mental and emotional adjustments after the replacement of a coach, which, according to Kevin Mendoza, senior at Kennedy and captain of the soccer team, is “a big adjustment that [they] are still trying to make happen.”

Varsity senior player Armon Lopez (10) controls the ball while his teammates Nathan Perez (12) and Alfonso Navarro (11) look on. (Photo by Carlos Sandoval)

The sudden event prompted concerns about the time it will take for the team to overcome such drastic changes; although luckily, the coach new to Kennedy, Wayne Novoa, is one with years of soccer experience. Already coaching for three weeks, Novoa has adjusted current roster formations to help the team get back on their feet. “A simplified system has been put back into play, resulting in an improvement to our team shape and defensive organization.” Much of the reason for this year’s loss seems to have been a result of several injuries and a lack of player motivation.

Kennedy’s Athletic Director, David Parsh, says, “[Novoa] brought in a level of organization and clarity to the team, in terms of what type of system they’re going to play, communicating with the parents as to what’s going on with the logistics of practice and game times.” With new methods being introduced, the team is bound to show great improvements within the remaining weeks.

Despite the majority of current varsity players to be seniors, many have high hopes for the team next year. The open positions will be filled by players on the JV team, who have had a more successful season this year with a league score in Metro of 5-0-1 and an overall score of 6-0-3. “[The varsity team] definitely won’t be hurting for players. The JV team is actually doing very well, they’ve won the majority of their games. They have some really skilled young players that we’re hoping will be able to continue building the program.” says Parsh.

Many obstacles were faced this season with few highlights. The team experienced the need for teamwork more than ever, and although it will be the last season for the majority of players, they are determined to finish out the season strong.

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