Thomas Melina Raab

Senior Jimmy Walker makes a break for the goal at soccer tryouts on Dec. 9. Photo by Thomas Melina Raab.

Class of 2020 teammates ready for one more run

Seniors eye upcoming boys soccer season with great excitement but also a tinge of sadness

90 minutes. That’s all a soccer game is—90 minutes. But for senior boys on the McCallum soccer team, senior sadness always comes around because for the seniors, it will be their last time playing high school sports. Eagerness and nervousness are what goes through their mind and body as they step on the field that one last time.

“I started playing soccer when I was 6,” senior Rey Bernacki said. “I wanted to start playing because it looked really fun on television, and my parents wanted me play, too.”

Bernacki started playing soccer for enjoyment, and he’s continued playing soccer at McCallum for all four years of his high school career for the same reason.

“All my friends are in [soccer], and it’s a good experience for us,” Bernacki said. “I wanted to keep playing a sport that I started to play at a young age to show commitment. We would always hang out together, and it made playing with each other much more fun.”

Now, the senior boys are approaching the end of their high school soccer careers, and it’s bringing up new emotions in all of them. Bernacki is sad to leave high school soccer behind after this season but is ready for a new adventure: college.

“I am kind of sad,” Bernacki said. “I’ve been with it for four years but I feel like I am going to play more soccer in college.”

Though some players are excited for new experiences in college, others have a bleaker outlook.

“I’m kinda sad cause I’ve been playing with all the guys for a while,” senior Jimmy Walker said. “And it’s sad to move on from that [at the end of the season], but it should be fun.”

It goes by so fast. It’s like yesterday I was a freshman playing soccer; now, I’m a senior.

— goalkeeper Bryn Lewis

Now that these players are seniors, they’ve stepped up into leadership roles on the team and have worked together to show leadership to the younger ones.

“Being a goalkeeper, you can really see the field and like a different point of view, so I just try and give insight on what I’m seeing to see to help the players,” senior Bryn Lewis said.

Most of the seniors have played on the team for a long time, and have lots of memories, both of the team and of their own experiences, to mark that time.

“I played freshman year as a goalkeeper,” Lewis said. “And then partway through the season, we had a lot of injuries so coach put me up to forward. I’m not good with my feet like all the other guys are, but the first game I played, I scored two goals and everyone was like ‘What’s going on with this kid?’”

The seniors also have some wisdom to share with incoming players, some advice they wish they had been given when they were first starting.

“Just try your best, stay on the grind and have fun,” Lewis said. “It goes by so fast. It’s like yesterday I was a freshman playing soccer; now, I’m a senior. Just enjoy [it] while you can. Time flies by when you’re having fun.”

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