This is my third year on the Concord Academy Boys Varsity Soccer Team.
From day one, my teammates have been like a family to me. During my first year on the team as a sophomore, I spent a lot of time learning from the seniors. They helped mentor me and led me to become a better teammate and person on and off the field. Whether it was our Moriarty locker room pep talks or long bus rides back from games, we made countless memories that made our team closer. One of my favorite memories of the 2019 soccer team was our rambunctious “hype squad,” a group of guys that yelled chants, gave humorous speeches, and clapped nonstop for the players on the field.
I am so grateful to play on this team. Similarly, Edoardo Takacs ’24, a standout player on the team, mentioned “This team means everything to me.”
Audeep Cariens ’22, one of the team captains said, “We are individually gifted players but together, as a team our talents are unrivaled.”
Every year, we get new additions to this team and we unfortunately also have to say goodbye to graduating seniors. Although this is bittersweet, shortly after we get to welcome ninth-graders, a big part of our team’s culture. The team goes above and beyond in order to make sure the new players have a smooth and seamless transition. Additionally, BVS does a good job of helping student-athletes become more confident and vocal. This team gave me both confidence and a voice. Without confidence, it is hard to perform at this level. You need to have faith in your athletic abilities and know beforehand that you will “make the play” to help the team with little to no self-doubt.
Our coaches, Adam Simon, and John Hickling are to thank for a lot of the things that the players have learned from this team, as these elite coaches have worked to foster this small community inside of CA. They instilled in me and my teammates’ perseverance and grit. They faced us with daily challenges in practice to help build our character and push us past limits. They did this so that when we face the same challenges in the game we are victorious. In a similar manner, Olamide Durocher ’24, a new addition to the team said, “Working hard is part of the team’s identity. Working five days a week isn’t easy but we are here to achieve nothing short of success.” Thus, whether it is doing pushups every time we hear the churning of a train, or running sprints until the coach blows his whistle, it is these instances of pain that bring us towards unity and success.
After reflecting on my experience playing on Boys Varsity Soccer, I was met with a bittersweet feeling. This team has allowed me to truly feel a part of CA as a community and being that it is my last year has made me very grateful for every moment I have left. This team has given me more than I could have asked for: friends, family, experiences, memories, highlights, smiles, and a few tears. As Charlie Apolinsky ’22, another one of our team captains, mentioned, “The team is continuing to create history – empowered to take on any challenge they face. With young aspiring talents such as Ola and old souls such as Cam, this team is truly prepared for anything.” I am so proud of this team and am certain that we will continue to strive for excellence and of course, not take this year for granted.