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Dominating the Field

Hoover boys soccer takes Federal League title
Senior+Gabriel+Velez+advances+towards+the+goal+against+McKinley+on+Senior+Night+Sept.+19.+Photography%2FArabella+Keim
Senior Gabriel Velez advances towards the goal against McKinley on Senior Night Sept. 19. Photography/Arabella Keim
Junior Alec McLeod dribbles around a defender moving closer to the goal on Sept. 19. Photography/Arabella Keim
Senior Gabriel Velez prepares to pass to an open teammate against McKinley on Senior Night Sept. 19. The boys were victorious winning 9-0. Photography/Arabella Keim

The Hoover Boys Soccer team has had an amazing season. At time of publication, the team holds a record of 13-2-1 and 6-0 in the Federal League. In the past two years the team has become state ranked, peaking at fourth earlier this season.

Head Coach Mr. Jonathan Zahn knows that the boys are motivated toward specific goals throughout the season.

“The next goal they are looking to accomplish is a Federal League title and that is where the motivation and energy is working towards,” he said.

They accomplished that goal Oct. 10, when senior Cam VanNatta scored a goal on a shot in the first half. The Vikings held on for a 1-0 win. VanNatta spoke of the dynamic of the team.

“We need not only the talent of each player showing every practice and game, but we also need the mentality to carry us over every hurdle,” he said.

VanNatta also believes that this year’s seniors have stepped up to lead the underclassmen and make sure that the team is successful.

Senior Gabriel Velez prepares to pass to an open teammate against McKinley on Senior Night Sept. 19. The boys were victorious winning 9-0. Photography/Arabella Keim

 

“Last year’s seniors accomplished what no other team has before them; this, I believe, has inspired the seniors to go and accomplish more than what they did,” he said.

Senior goalie Rowan Ellis notes that all of the seniors have a strong bond with each other which helps all of them lead, not only the captains.

“Other seniors have demonstrated leadership,” he said. “Whether or not they have an armband, which has motivated others to do so as well.” Ellis doesn’t let grade level divide players on the team. He knows that their support of each other has led to their success.

“The underclassmen are very skilled soccer players, which is why they are on varsity,” he said. “So all of the upperclassmen know that they can trust them.”

The dynamic of the team changes every season but according to Zahn, the team has turned into a family.

“Each group has their own dynamic they create,” he said. “This group continues to raise the standard of the program as we have been for the last few seasons.”

The boys still know how to have fun according to VanNatta, the team regularly visits Cane’s on the weekends and have had team feeds as well.

“We don’t just mess around at our practices though,” he said. “We know when to have fun and we know when to be serious.”

Ellis elaborates that the team has become close during his season and many seniors have helped to bring everyone
together.

“Everyone is very tight-knit and supportive of each other which keeps team morale up and keeps everyone excited for practices every day,” he said.

Coach Zahn is proud of the team for becoming fourth in the state for three consecutive weeks. This is the highest the Hoover boys soccer team has been ranked in the history of the program.

“It has brought a real sense of pride to our group who have been super excited for being recognized for their hard work,” he said.

The coaches of the team have helped the players stay humble throughout the season and not play over confidently in games as indicated by Ellis.

“We know what we’re capable of, and despite some setbacks and some losses, we still believe,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Zelenko
Kaitlyn Zelenko, Circulation Manager
My name is Kaitlyn and this my second year on staff! I am a junior this year and I am in various clubs and sports! I also love to read and bake in my free time.