Throughout the halls of Taft, chatter of sports can be heard anywhere. Students ask players about the outcomes of games, managers about practice, and spectators about how a player performed.. One of the more popular fall sports is Soccer, and home games generally accumulate a sizable crowd of eager fans, dressed in red and chanting passionately. Without a doubt, Taft Soccer is a respectable program, and our team performs well in their games. However, there are many teams in the Founder’s league that stack their rosters up with PG’s and recruits from all around the world, making them challenging and often overwhelming competitors. Taft has a more traditional approach to soccer, believing in creating and training skilled players rather than recruiting them.
A wave of new sophomore soccer recruits came to Taft this year, all already experienced, immediately earning playing time alongside seasoned veterans of the Taft Soccer program. John Nugent, a returning sophomore, and a new center back on the team, commented:
“Taft Soccer is a great program, and everyone on the team, and the team as a whole, is better than [they] were at the beginning of the fall. Although I don’t want to think too far into the future, and I would rather focus on the present, I think that the team has the potential to excel in the next couple of years.”
Although we boast a strong team this year, with a tie against Loomis, the leading team in the Founders League, the future is certainly bright for Taft Soccer. There are six sophomore players on the varsity team currently, and there will most likely be additions to the classes of 2017 and 2018 next year, as well as a possible post-graduate or two. There are also many aspiring soccer players that play on the JV level, or even Thirds and Fourths that may make the team within the next few years. There will no doubt be an abundance of skilled, eager, and enthusiastic players in the foreseeable future.
By next year and the year after, our players will have incredible chemistry with one another on the pitch, a vibrant interconnectedness that a team full of new recruits and PG’s can’t achieve, no matter how good.
They are all already beginning to familiarize themselves with each other’s playing styles, recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and bond over being part of a team with one-another. There is no absolute way to know for sure, but from the way it looks now, Taft can only get better and better at soccer. Good luck to all the Taft Soccer Teams on Hotchkiss Day, and above all, Go Big Red!