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The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

Meet the Staff
Kinley Gigous
Kinley Gigous

Kinley Gigous is a freshman and a photographer for Free State Journalism. Outside of journalism she is involved in theatre, soccer, forensics, and Finer Things club. Outside of school, she enjoys crocheting...

SPORTS: Boys Soccer Striving for Success

Boys soccer team dives into latest season with ambitions and goals for what they can accomplish
Isabelle Prô
After scoring a goal, the boys varsity soccer team celebrates with each other. They beat Shawnee Heights 5-0 on Tuesday, Sep. 5.

With a loss to DeSoto to start the season, the Boys Varsity Soccer team aims to show their resilience in the coming games. When faced with their next two matchups, the squad showed that they are prepared to compete at a high level by beating Shawnee Heights 5-0 and Olathe Northwest 1-0. 

Despite the 0-1 end to the first game for the Firebirds, the focus of the players remains the same — to shoot for success. Though the outcome was not what they wanted, the team illustrated with their play that they had made several improvements over the summer and are ready for the hurdles they will face.

When asked about what the team is focused on refining after the first game, varsity captain JJ Zheng noted the importance of developing as a whole, outside of the individual aspect of the sport.

“We’re just focusing on getting comfortable with playing with each other and being more creative, because that’s what we really need,” Zheng said. 

In the second and third game of the season, the team showed a more commanding and organized way of playing; demonstrating that they are a group with the skills to do well this season and that they have the foundation for great chemistry among the players. 

Referring to the connection between players, Zheng stated that they are a positive team.

“This year we’re gonna be a lot more sound in that aspect [of encouraging one another] because we all know each other well,” Zheng said.

When it comes to the future of the soccer team, a notable person is the current junior varsity Coach Daniel Schoettmer. When asked about his goals for developing the JV team, Schoettmer emphasized that even though he has so much passion for coaching the players, he wants them to move on to the next phase. 

“Getting them to the point where they could step on the field of a varsity game, and be ready to go and contribute,” Schoettmer said.

When giving insight on how the players were feeling leading into the season, Schoettmer mentioned the preparedness they have.

“There’s just a readiness. The guys feel prepared; equipped. And so much of that comes from the work that the boys put in over the offseason,” Schoettmer said.

Additionally, when asked about how last year’s seniors leaving will affect this season, head coach Joseph Waldron stated that even though they have lost some talent from last year, room for younger talent has opened up. 

“Every year we lose really good players and every year it gives another opportunity for really good players to step up,” Waldron said.

Furthermore, Waldron has confidence that this year’s players have the capacity to blend well together and grow towards a successful season. 

“[It’s] a matter of working together,” Waldron said. “It will all come together at some point in the season. I’m confident of that.”

The Firebirds will play again Tuesday, Sept. 19 against Shawnee Mission South at home.

About the Contributors
Elliot Skillman
Elliot Skillman, Assistant Copy Editor
Elliot Skillman is a junior and reporter for the Free Press. Outside of journalism he is involved in NHS, art club, and wind ensemble. He enjoys traveling and listening to music.
Isabelle Prô
Isabelle Prô, Yearbook Photo Editor
Isabelle is a senior and is involved in cross county and track. Outside of sports, she is the Photo Editor of the yearbook. At home, she loves to hangout with her dog.
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