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Soccer Seniors Leave Legacy, Titles to be Remembered

The boys of the Varsity Soccer team celebrate after another victory. Year after year the seniors have continued to impress.

While walking down the Staples gym hallway it isn’t hard to notice the vast collection of soccer memorabilia lining the walls. Encased in glass, trophies gleam and old sepia colored team-photographs rest in their frames. These objects symbolize the various accomplishments of the varsity Boy’s Soccer team over the years. However, these objects and titles are only capable of representing a fraction of the legacy that the boys have created.

Over the past few years the boys’ soccer team has peaked in its wins. Three years ago it won 20 games in a season, for three consecutive years it has held the FCIAC title, and in 2009 it won the State Championship. Although the 2010 season ended with a loss in the state championship, this year’s seniors have left four successful seasons that will be remembered.

Along with the esteemed position of being on varsity soccer come many expectations to fill the cleats of these Staples soccer alumni. Staples soccer’s reputation for winning is constantly instilled in the players’ minds. Because of this, there was an immense amount of pressure on the players to win throughout the season, says Dan Woog, Staples varsity soccer coach.

“There was tremendous pressure on the players, particularly at the beginning of the year, but this year’s team understood the pressure, embraced it, and finished strongly,” Woog said.

Although Woog acknowledges the expectations from peers, family, and the community, hesays that most of the pressure came from the players.

Brendan Lesch ’11, one of the three Varsity Soccer captains and a four-year varsity player, agrees that the pressure to live up to the legacy was magnified by the players themselves. “There are always high expectations that we want to achieve,” Lesch said. “We want to play well and work our hardest for our teammates so that we don’t let each other down.”

As members of the varsity soccer team, the wins are not the only things the seniors have accomplished. Throughout the last four years they have been leaders in the Westport community and role models to the younger players who watch them. “We had a lot of little kids coming to the game and looking up to us,” Lesch said. The seniors’ success has not only served by fostering school spirit, but also by inspiring the young soccer players that attend the games and idolize the players.

Jake Krosse ’11 remembers what it was like to be in first grade, an aspiring soccer player, alongside his now graduating teammates.

“Our group has been playing together for so long that we recognize ourselves in the younger player’s shoes,” Krosse said. Years of the senior’s devotion have been invested in the team. “We have played and grown together for more than a decade and have a very close camaraderie.” The 12 strong players that the team is losing have established a sense of unity that will be hard to replace.

Current varsity player Jake Malowitz ’12 looks ahead to the 2011 season in a positive way. While there are players being lost, Malowitz believes that next year’s seniors will have a successful season. “Playing alongside the seniors gave the team more confidence to succeed, but I think that next year’s seniors bring an equal quality of leadership and skill.”

Woog agrees with Malowitz and has confidence that the team’s legacy will prevail. “While we are sad to see the 12 seniors go, there is a great group of underclassmen ready to take their place,” Woog said. This year’s juniors have demonstrated their ability to carry the team and lead them through next year’s season, says Woog.

Although Staples soccer is headed in a positive direction, the graduating seniors will be missed greatly, Woog said.

Whether a parent, a friend, or young soccer player, the seniors have been watched by many spectators and have left a strong impression on those who have followed them.

Reflecting on his time spent with the seniors, Woog finds the 2010 State Championship loss irrelevant in the span of accomplishments that they have had. Woog believes that the senior’s talents and abilities have been vested in more than their wins. “Its not about the numbers and statistics,” Woog says. “It’s about passion, pride, and joy, which they’ve embodied every day. That will be their legacy.”

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