Soccer helps build community

By Andres Ruelas

Staff Writer

Win or lose, at the end of the day, we would all have fun conversations and laugh with the coach like the game had never happened. We do not see the soccer team as just practicing and playing; we see each other existing in the moment, having no worries about our life. That is what it is all about: being a part of a team.

Participating in the soccer team helps with many things such as communication skills, teamwork, higher self-esteem, less stress and less pressure. It also teaches students to value academics as much as soccer. It improves intelligence, discipline, concentration and attitude.

Being with a soccer team makes you feel welcome, not only to the team but also to the community of the school. Rainier sophomore Noah Macias has been playing soccer for the school for two years. “It pushes you to do better in school,” Macias said. He thinks that the students need to be on-track with their classes. 

“It’s a lifestyle, and the peers build a bond between teammates,” Macias said.

Rainier freshman Carlos Villareal just finished his first year on the team, and he feels that soccer has left a positive impact on him. It has introduced him to different people that he had not known before.

“It’s a way of relieving stress and gets my mind off of things. It makes me feel a part of the community by making great memories with friends,” Villarreal said.  

This proves that soccer is not just about playing soccer; there are many things that can be improved when playing soccer. 

Of course, at first, many of the students did not know each other in the first couple of weeks, but everyone began to feel comfortable and welcomed on the team. I have seen players even hanging out and joking around outside of school. 

Since this will also be the last year for our soccer team (since Summit Rainier is scheduled to close at the end of the school year), everyone, including Coach Daniel Hernandez, had made it a great experience for everyone.

I would show up around 20 minutes before the game started. I noticed that the players were not worried about playing but rather joking and having fun with each other. I even saw students who never want to be in a school environment talk to others. 

This would make the team smile and have a chance to bond over time. Instead of the coach warming us up, he would also crack a few jokes, leaving us in a good mood before the game. Sometimes, after the game, we would leave smiling too. 

“It makes you feel more comfortable and opens new relationships,” Macias said. He enjoyed meeting new people, and he worked hard to progress in academics. 

Rainier sophomore Isaiah Hernandez explained the chemistry that he and his teammates had built together when he said, “We bond really well with each other.” Hernandez explained that joining the team really does make an impact on one’s life. 

To keep the students motivated, the coach tried to make the learning process more than just learning the fundamentals of soccer. He made the season fun in multiple ways and made a caring community for his players to remember. 

Of course, a community would not be one without support, and that is exactly what the soccer team had. We had support from staff, parents, the coach, and, most importantly, support in each other.

Soccer teaches us to be supportive towards humans along with being friendly to everyone we come in contact with. Participating with other kids plays a great factor in the experience as well. 

Although we did play against other teams, we felt that it was not a competitive environment. Being committed to the team plays a big factor in the team’s community.

Soccer has been around for decades, and every team has a different chemistry with each other. They all have trust for one another and work as a team to achieve success. 

At the end of the day, we are still a team who became comfortable with one another, having respect for the coach and the teammates. 

Soccer is an opportunity to be introduced into the community by finding people with the same interest and being welcomed into the team and community.

Featured image (at the top of this post): The Rainier boys soccer team poses for a picture after the Feb. 13 game vs. Design Tech. PHOTO CREDIT: Andres Chavez

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