The Spring Mills boys varsity soccer team is making history this season. They currently lead their league with a record of 9-1-1. With at least four games remaining, the team already exceeds the total wins that any boys SMHS soccer team has been responsible for. This season also holds the record for the highest winning percentage the team has had since the program was developed in 2013.
Head coach Bretly Kidwell and assistant coach Mike Mahoski have great ambitions for their team this year. “The big goal that I have this year is to make it to states,” Kidwell admitted, “Even if we don’t go to states I’m fine if we lose as long as we play up to our capability.” Team captain, Senior Hietam Belhachmi aspires to reach the state stage as well, “We are aiming to win the regional championship and beyond. We have the people to do it, it’s just a matter of getting our heads in the right place.”
Comradery plays a big part in the team’s success. Freshman John Park considers this bond his favorite thing about the team, “We act like a family. We all lean on each other and help pick each other up when we make mistakes.” The bond shared on the team helps the boys to develop more trust in each other, making their team an even stronger competitor on the soccer field. The coaches are included in this special bond, “I’ve known ninety percent of these boys for at least eight years. Sometimes there’s four to six of them at my house.” Kidwell explains, hinting at how having a personal relationship with your players positively impacts the team and the ability to coach them.
Senior goalkeeper Tyler Bennett has seen a change over his three years on varsity, “We have definitely changed our focus point from counter attack to possession. We now have players that focus on possessing the ball and it’s helped the team go to the next level.” A counter attack in soccer is a quick attack from the former defensive team. A possession style of play is a slower, smarter style of play that focuses on connecting your passes. By changing the style of play the boys varsity soccer team was able to dramatically change their win to loss ratio from previous seasons.
Four regular season games remain for the boys varsity season, with the additional playoff games. Fans will continue to encourage the team as they hope to make their goal of making it to the state tournament a reality.