Season scope on Athens Drive high school, men’s soccer

Athens+Drive+Jaguar+Stadium.+This+stadium+hosts+the+home+games+for+the+Mens+soccer+team.+Their+record+is+6-5-1

Photos by Liliana Kleist

Athens Drive Jaguar Stadium. This stadium hosts the home games for the Men’s soccer team. Their record is 6-5-1

The athletes at Athens Drive High School think that soccer is more than just a game, it is about connecting with other classmates and teammates. Many students who are in sports currently or have been a part of a sport in Athens say that it is like a second family. Competition is important to many, but to others making new friendships is far more important. That sense of belonging makes for better players, better teams and better performance. The men’s soccer team has shown just that.

“When I coached, I loved the competition and interacting with the kids was always fun. I enjoyed watching them get better in their four years. I think the boys will do well this season. They’re working well together and if they can get into goal scoring, I think they’ll have a good chance of getting in the conference this year,” said Travis Seese, athletic director. 

The players find that connecting not only on the field but also off the field has helped how they play during games. They bond through riding the bus to away games and playing video games outside of school. They found that that communication extends to the field during games–a huge make or break on winning.

“Coach Nelson has been giving us constructive criticism about us as individual players and as a team. He’ll tell us what our strengths and our weaknesses are. He’s very honest with us, he’s kind, and he’s never rude. I think that with him giving us feedback like that, along with ways we can improve has helped us to become better players and a better team,” said Josef Sikiric, head captain and goalie of the men’s soccer team. 

Sikiric finds that communicating with Coach Nelson has been very beneficial for the team. He can give input on what he thinks the team needs to do better or are already getting better on. Along with having the ability as a Captain to be a better leader. Sikiric says being a leader helps the team improve on and off the field as well.

“I think being a captain has really helped me become a better player. With being a goalie, you must speak to your teammates on the field, by telling them where they should position themselves and where the next best option of play is,” said Sikiric. 

He has been playing soccer for Athens since he moved to Athens Drive high school his sophomore year. He enjoys being able to meet new people through playing soccer along with meeting new people that share a common interest in bettering their skills. He enjoys being able to win games and getting better within the sport. 

“This season has gone really well so far. Compared to last season, we only won five games. Last season we missed the playoffs because of this. Now, we’re only a little over a month into the season and we’ve already won five games. I think that we have a very good chance at not only making it to the playoffs but also going further into them,” said Sikiric.