End of Soccer season!

After a long, fun-filled season of soccer, I can finally say that it’s over. Finishing the season off with a win against Rifle, our final record was 10-2-3, which I personally think qualifies as a good season.

The season started out pretty slow, with me playing less than a quarter of the game on average. At the start of the season, I started out on defense, which I was pretty disappointed at, as I have an extreme liking towards forward, and towards the middle of the season, I got moved up to right wing, and eventually switched to left wing because I could cross it into the middle with my left foot better than most people on the team, and much better than the previous players who played left wing. As the season progressed, I got more and more playing time. Two games ago, I got to start both halves, and I played for around 70 of 80 minutes of the game, which was one, tiring, and two, extremely fun.

Dad and me after a game in Glenwood Springs
Dad and me after a game in Glenwood Springs

Although I didn’t get a goal in the back of the net this year, I had some good shots (not to mention some bad ones where I completely just missed the goal), and in the last game, I took my first corner kick of the season on the right corner, thinking to myself that I hadn’t ever taken a corner this season. I ended up nailing a giant kick, over the keeper’s head, and one of my teammates put it in. That was probably the highlight of the game for me, as I didn’t ever get an actual shot on goal, but overall it was a fun last game, with the final score being 3-1. Here’s a video of my teammate putting the ball in the goal from my corner kick:

 

What’s really funny to me is when I think back to just before the season, when I was contemplating whether or not to even do soccer. I hadn’t competitively played in two years, I hadn’t even kicked a ball for the past ten months, and I’d never actually had to try out for a team before. After I decided to try out, I procrastinated practicing, ending up only getting around an hour of practice in before tryouts.

Tryouts were stressful, because all around me I saw kids my age and older that had obviously been practicing their ball skills, and most of them knew each other, whereas I only knew two or three people. We ran hard, with the coaches timing us on long-distance (well, not really long distance – just one ~1.5 mile run and one ~2 mile run), and I honestly believe that was one of the only reasons I made the team – Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t the worst one on the team, but I definitely was not the best. When we were running those timed runs, I knew that while many people who were trying out had much better ball skills than me, I was probably more in shape than many of the kids there. I ended up being the second fastest Freshman, beating some Sophomores and a few Juniors.

When the end of the third day of tryouts came, I was nervous – I didn’t know how I placed, or if I even made a team. The coaches told us that they had made some tough decisions, having to cut 17 people. When their final talk was over, I returned to the locker room to see my name on the list of people who had made the team. I was overjoyed to see my name on that list, and I couldn’t wait to start playing again.

I’d say my first high school sport season was a good experience – Even though my soccer skills were better two years ago than they are now, I played my part on the team, and compensated for my lack of skill with a ball with hard work and speed. I made some new friends, who I think I’ll be hanging out with in the future.

Well, now that the season’s over, it’s time to prepare for snowboarding – I expect to qualify for Nationals again, and hopefully I can get on the podium in at least one competition this year. I think the past three years of boarding have all led up to this season – This is the season where I’m at the top of my age category, have had previous experience competing and racing, and have had a taste of what Nationals is like. I don’t know what the season after this will look like, I might not even compete, so I think this is where I can really do something worth remembering. The season starts in less than a month, with Arapahoe Basin opening today, and I think I’m ready for it.

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