Kick-Starting the Boys’ Soccer Season

The+Cavalier+soccer+team+huddling+in+unison+to+kick-start+a+game

Emily Kay

The Cavalier soccer team huddling in unison to kick-start a game

Allegra Sharp, Staff Writer

It is that time of year again. All of the soccer fanatics are getting ready for an incredible 2019-2020 Cavalier Soccer season. The boys’ soccer team has recently started preseason conditioning for those interested in joining the team, but most of the returning Cavalier Soccer players took the offseason as a chance to join another sport, like cross country, and improve their athletic physiques and endurance for the upcoming season.

Last season, the Cavalier Soccer team started off incredibly strong and performed well for the entirety of their season. The Cavaliers won every game leading up to the district championship finals, but they would ultimately drop their final game in a thriller against Christopher Columbus High School. The Cavs came up short, trailing the Explorers 2-1 in the end.

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Every part of the game of soccer is beautiful. It is hard to find one specific part that I like the most, but the brotherhood that it takes to have a strong team is truly something special,”

— Junior Neil Toloza

Junior Neil Toloza joined the soccer team as a freshman at Gables because of his Colombian background, where soccer is a major facet of the culture. However, he found his passion for the sport as he watched his favorite player, Cristiano Ronaldo, score the game winning penalty in the 2016 Champions League Final against Real Madrid.

Over the course of his experience on the team, Toloza has picked up good habits and improved his technique and work ethic. Unfortunately, Toloza has spent most of the offseason in physical therapy, recovering from a knee injury. However, this has allowed him to hone his leadership and communication skills so he can perform better on and off the field. Toloza feels ready to perform better than ever on the Cavalier varsity soccer team.

Cavalier Soccer team
Members of the 2018-2019 Cavalier soccer team pictured alongside Coach Fotso (left)

Despite Toloza viewing from a distance, the Cavalier Soccer team’s conditioning sessions for the upcoming season have consisted of the annual Cooper test, where Coach Fotso has the players run eight laps around the school’s soccer field in under 12 minutes. Coach Fotso uses the Cooper test in order to get an understanding of the potential that the players have. Coach Fotso wants to ensure that the players have what it takes to succeed on a team as competitive as the Cavalier Soccer team.

Preseason conditioning has also included many different types of sprints, adding a number of different exercises that test the players’ basic techniques, footwork and tactical abilities.

“My favorite part of all of this has definitely been just being with the team. We are a great bunch of guys and our coach is a great guy who trains us hard. We work hard and we never give up,” senior captain Jason Wood said.

The Cavalier Soccer team is looking to dominate throughout the season once again. Adding talent to an already-stacked roster will only make the Cavaliers better as they look for new ways to innovate and bring the team together. Ambitious and looking to push their limits, going even further than they ever have.