WHS freshman boys’ soccer puts the work in

Valerie Duong, Raider Times staff

“People always think people that playing soccer isn’t hard and they’re wrong,” says Jeylani Thiam, a member of the Watertown High freshman boys’ soccer team. 

The freshman soccer team is part of the two teams that make up the junior varsity squad. As evidenced by the name, the group is composed of mainly freshman players.

While it may be their first year on a high school team, the freshman players worked hard to ensure that they succeeded!

When practicing for a game, the team runs laps, does warm-ups and passing drills, and also scrimmages. Drills might include passing into space, and small sided possession drills.

The team not only performs a number of drills, but also regularly engages in scrimmages. According to the players, scrimmages are great for preparing for games, “because they build chemistry and help sharpen skills,” says Nico Tocchio.

Practice is not the only component though to improving soccer skills. According to Daniel Heep, a crucial part of the team’s strategy is “Having good recovery after and before training and games, working on weaknesses, and being prepared for games.”

Jack Villiotte added, the most important things during a game are teamwork and communication.”

According to striker Nicolas de Paula, “There’s a lot of pressure because you have to score.”

Moving up the high school level heightens this pressure for many players. Nico said this new playing level is “different from middle school soccer because it’s more intense and everyone is better. Also it counts for [a lot more].”

The greater pressure to succeed though has only further pushed the players to become better. Another member of the team explained, “You play better teams and your teammates are better and know where to be and play together. Also: faster speed of play.” 

While the 2021 soccer season has come to an end, the freshman team can be proud of the work the players put in over the past few months!

–Nov. 22, 2021–