By Natasha Ashby
For the first time ever at SLA, the Boys Soccer team qualified for the playoffs. Their record this season was 6-6 and the players’ range from freshman to seniors.
The team consists of various skill levels, and come together on the field to play in unison. Before they begin their season, they spend an immense amount of time conditioning from workouts to running up Lemon Hill multiple times.
The Rockets were thrilled to qualify for playoffs this year. Unfortunately, they lost their first playoff game against Lincoln High School on Thursday October, 20th, knocking them out the PIAA playoffs. They also lost against Masterman on October 26th, which was their last chance of clinching a district title as a team.
During Public, the entire team qualified for districts — Seniors Tyler Hankinson, Rick Kinard and Mustapha Idriss, Juniors Maggie Long, Matt Ferry, Tenzin Ngawang, Sasha Myuzaki and Katherine Hunt, Sophomores DeShawn McLeod, and Freshmen Amy Chen and Reggie Simmons.
Ferry is fully aware of what it’s like to be a leader and a competitor. Having been apart of the team for two years now, he has learned how to be a captain.
“Many responsibilities are placed on me, all of which I love. Whenever my teammates need help, I give them racing strategies, warm-ups, and just someone who they can depend on. During both the boys and girls races I’m along the course cheering my teammates on. As soon as I finish my race, I go right over to my coach and wait with her to help motivate my teammates to stay strong till the end.”
In 2010, he came in 8th place and had a personal best time of 18:25. Now, this year he placed 13th, qualified for Districts and is now on his way to the State competition on Saturday, November 5th in Hershey, PA.
The team attributes its success to the fact that they are like a family. Whether it was while stretching, warming up or during the race, an SLA student voice could always be heard cheering on another. According Maggie Long, “Running clears my mind. It’s good exercise and I love my coach. It’s a team sport but individual at the same time. I don’t have to rely on others to win. My whole goal is to beat myself and improve each time I run.”
SLA boys soccer players and cross country runners are quickly rising through the ranks of the public league, while staying true to themselves and to their team.