Fielding a Team
By: Grace Beedles
Fall sports are a great way to meet new people and play a role in the HB community. In addition, they force you to learn time management skills and can be a great way to stay in shape. Each fall sport makes high school athletics an enjoyable experience and one filled with memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you are on Junior Varsity or Varsity, fall sports highlight a fun and exciting part of HB. This year, the soccer team ran the risk of just having one team. Sadly, this wouldn’t let players who played on JV last year or people who just want to play on an HB team for fun of it, play on the JV soccer team. Yet, the soccer program was able to attract enough players and field a JV Soccer team. All of the players demonstrated how everyone on the team is important and deserves an enjoyable athletic experience.
During tryouts, the amount of players was smaller than in past years. Although not everyone came to the first week of tryouts, the team had lost 6 seniors and a handful of players decided to pursue other opportunities. From the get-go, most people were aware that the HB soccer program might have just enough or not enough to field two teams. In addition, this particular week of tryouts was different because of the in climate weather. We weren’t able to do a fitness test or any other aspects of the tryout process due to rain and thunder. Overall, it was strange week, but everyone was still excited for the upcoming season.
Friday of tryouts week was very different for everyone than in past years. Since it was raining that morning, we sat for a while waiting for the weather to cooperate which it ultimately did not happen. All of the players met in the weight room and awaited for Coach Ptacek to tell us the plan. Typically, coaches just say a few words about how tryouts have been, set up a drill, then begin individual meetings. This year our meeting on that morning was about something else. Unfortunately, Coach Ptacek announced that we wouldn’t be having a JV team and there would be a group of people who would just be practice players. While most players knew this could possibly be our fate, it shocked everyone that day because our worst fears had just became real. Only one team, no JV, it was different. For my entire HB soccer career (two years), there were always two teams, now things have changed until now.
Coach Ptacek encouraged players to ask their friends to join the team and give suggestions of people they think would be interested. With that in mind, people immediately started texting everyone they knew about this opportunity. One of the varsity captains, Colleen Lux, sent a text to almost everyone in the senior class. Other players texted everyone who didn’t play a fall sport in their contact list. Junior, Anna Doak, took the lead on this initiative by creating a list anybody who expressed interest and got a handful of people just to join. By the end of weekend, we had 9 potential additional players. Anna emailed Coach Ptacek with the list of players that Sunday. We all hoped that this would work and solve our problems.
Although it took it while to get all of the new players situated on the team, JV soccer was able to have a season. Remembering how happy everyone in the group chat that day when Anna told everyone we might be able have a JV continues to be one of my favorite HB athletic memories. It’s great to know that HB soccer program wants every player to have the opportunity to play both in practice and in games no matter which team you are on.