From Varsity to a Different Level of Competition: Rec Soccer


In fact, there are 40 players split between two teams this year. There is a great increase from last year, where there were only 25 students on one team.

Unlike other sports teams, the trick is not to feature talent but teamwork.

“It is really a beautiful game when you understand what it takes to make a team good,” Rec Coach Matthew Burris said. “A team with average players who play their positions and don’t hog the ball will usually beat a team in which one or two star players dominate the ball.”

In rec soccer, Team One has seniors, sophomore, and some freshmen, and Team Two has the juniors and the remaining freshman. This is just how the numbers worked. In addition, players like to play with their friends.

According to Burris, the goal of rec soccer is to provide a safe environment where players can enjoy the game safely without having to worry about their skill level. This means that there are no cuts as well as equal playing time.

“I like to play rec soccer because there are no vigorous tryouts and it is a good way to get active on the weekends,” Will Simpson ’14 said. “That is why it has gained popularity.”

Last year, the four main high school boys’ rec teams were Westport, Wilton, Danbury, and Trumbull. Now, Ridgefield, Rowayton, and Stamford are also following the pack, along with the second Westport team. Coaches try to put equally competitive teams on the field and would prefer to have a score more similar to 2-1 than to 6-0.

“Rec soccer gives me a great opportunity to play the sport I was supposed to play when I was born. It is in my blood and in my ethnic background,” Francesco Martinovic ’13 said, among his team’s leading scorers.

Timesaving conveniences for the players are that there are no practices, and more than half of the games are on the Wakeman fields.

The two common themes to rec soccer’s popularity, players said, are getting to run around and exercise and having a good time with friends.

Pensak described one funny moment when the dad of Jack Dobrich ‘13 gave his own son a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“Another hilarious moment was when Cyrus Burris ’15 saved a goal by chasing down the opponent with the ball, unleashing a ferocious battle cry, then tackling the kid to the ground, and coming away with just a yellow card from the referee,” Pensak said.

Players are competitive, all agreed, but have fun.

“If I could describe the team in one word, it would be ‘spirited.’ They come with so much energy (as long as the games are in the afternoon), and sometimes they horse around like a pack of puppies,” Coach Burris said.