Soccer Season Kicks Off

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Soccer Season Kicks Off

Eve Nguyen, Staffer

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Near the end of the 2018-2019 high school soccer season, the LBJ boys varsity soccer team beat the undefeated Dripping Springs varsity team twice in a row. Despite these two wins, LBJ’s team did not make UIL playoffs. This season, the varsity boys hope to make it to playoffs and go undefeated in district competition.

Sophomore Lonnie Glasscock played on LBJ’s JV A team for most of his freshman year but moved to varsity near the end of the season. He thinks that the LBJ boys’ soccer program has a lot of talented players but that the team is held back by a lack of unity among the team.

“LASA and LBJ have a lot of good players, but I think if we get better at playing as one and playing better together with better chemistry, we’ll be much better,” Glasscock said.

Junior Beckett Schmeil has been playing soccer for LBJ for three years and said he is hoping that the team will improve enough to make it to the playoffs this year. Getting new players and a new coach means the team has a good base to build on, according to Schmeil.

“I think we can win district this year if we grind it out,” Schmeil said. “I think we can make it to districts with the new coach and new kids. We just need a keeper. We don’t have a goalkeeper.”

Senior Charlie Riley has been part of the team since he was a freshman. Though Riley could not play for most of his sophomore and junior year seasons due to injury, he said he has still been very involved with the team as an athletic trainer. In order to have better practices and better their level of play, Riley believes the team needs to be more organized and attentive.

“We weren’t really too focused at practice all the time last year, and that’s another organization thing,” Riley said. “We just did the same drills every day, so hopefully Coach Lewis will give us some new stuff to do and we’ll improve a lot more.”

This season, the former JV coach, Thurman Lewis, will be coaching the boys’ varsity team. Riley and the other players are excited to see what he will bring to the team. He hopes that Lewis will bring fresh energy to the team and will reinvigorate their drive to work hard. In addition to having high standards for their coach in the upcoming soccer season, players have also started to set goals for how well they want to do this year, according to Riley.

“My freshman year we won district and went to playoffs, and then we haven’t even been to the playoffs since, so I think we want to get to the playoffs,” Riley said.

Glasscock agreed with Riley and said the team is determined to get to the playoffs this year. He said he also hopes to make varsity and stresses that players should set individual goals for themselves. According to Glasscock, if players on the team push each other to improve, the team as a whole will consistently improve.
“For me, personally, I want to be on varsity and starting a lot of games,” Glasscock said. “And as a team, for whichever team, varsity or JV A, I hope that we’ll win district and then go to playoffs and do well there.”

Schmeil said he and his fellow players are on the team for more than just doing well in the playoffs. According to Schmeil, playing for his school team isn’t just about winning.

“Honestly, I just want to have a good experience and just have a fun time, that’s really all I’m trying to gain from [high school soccer],” Schmeil said. “I like high school soccer a lot because you get to play with the boys, just goon around the whole time. It’s a lot more laid back than club soccer, and you play your friends, play against your friends and with them.”

Playing soccer for a school team rather than a club team gives students the chance to get competitive while playing alongside their classmates and representing their school colors. Riley said this is what makes high school soccer so appealing in comparison to club soccer.

“You get to play with a different group of people, I guess, and it’s also fun because you’re all representing your school instead of just some club that doesn’t really mean anything,” Riley said. “It kind of feels like you’re playing for more people.”