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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Boys soccer tops league, reaches CIF first bracket

Boys+soccer+celebrates+their+final+game+of+the+season+at+senior+night%2C+photo+courtesy+of+Keen+Lai.+
Boys soccer celebrates their final game of the season at senior night, photo courtesy of Keen Lai.

   On Jan. 30, the Gabrielino High School boys varsity soccer team won their final game of the season on Senior Night against Rosemead High School, 11-3. This year marks the second season the Eagles have been Mission Valley champions and qualified for CIF in over six years. 

   “I think our season has had a lot of ups and downs; we struggled a lot with injuries, and our mentality as a whole was really poor,” explained Sebastian Jimenez, junior. “Despite the challenges this season, we were able to overcome them, and I think it’s been a good season overall.” 

   Although the Eagle’s strong team chemistry and ability to support each other are typically their strengths, it was difficult for the boys to adjust to the new season’s team dynamics. The beginning of the season was challenging, as previous players who held the team together had graduated; several key returning players were also injured and unable to play.

   “Every season is different, and I would say our team dynamics were pretty interesting this year… we got into a ton of fights,” said Caleb Perez, senior. “Once league started, everybody’s brain just flipped; we realized we had to work together if we wanted to win anything, and the fighting stopped.”

   Previously, the Eagles tied their first two games of the season, but lost their third against Marshall on Dec. 12, 0-2. Following this loss, senior captain Landon Gray recognized the importance of solving communication and team synergy issues which were holding the team back. 

   “Our season’s game against Marshall was a huge challenge, but the loss also served as a wake up call,” stated Gray. “A big part of solving our problems this season was having the key players who were not in the game due to injury or suspension come back.”

   After the loss against Marshall, the boys worked tirelessly on skill and strategy. Many injured players also returned to the team, and the Eagles tied or won every game from then on. 

   Though Senior Night was a celebratory event for many of the players, it was also emotional. For seniors, the team’s win against Rosemead was overshadowed by a sense of nostalgia and sadness as they reflected on their final moments with the team. 

   “The fact that (the Rosemead game) was the last game of the season was bittersweet, (it) saddened many of us,” stated senior Ethan Nunez. “Sebastian, our goalkeeper Peyton, and everyone else on the team are all just amazing people; I will definitely miss playing with them.”

   As many senior players prepare to graduate from the team, they have high hopes for what younger players have learned and will remember from them. 

   “As the captain, I would hope that the new players model after me as someone who worked hard on the team, and remained passionate about soccer despite burnout,” stated Gray. “I would like to think I have made a positive impact, and the younger players will remember my ability to bring the team together when they lead.”

   Nunez shares Gray’s optimism.

   “I just want them to remember that soccer is just a game,” he said. “When you’re out there, you’re playing and having fun, there’s no need to get angry; high school is short, so enjoy your time on the team, (and) don’t take things for granted.”

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About the Contributor
Mark Chammas, Staff Writer
Mark Chammas is a Staff Writer for the school newspaper. This is his first year on the team. Outside of his journalistic pursuits, Mark enjoys reading celebrity memoirs, listening to music, and playing video games. He joined the newspaper out of his love for writing and his appreciation for the school paper. Mark aims to cover topics of personal interest and address school-related issues he believes need more attention.
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