an open forum for student expression

Tri-Color Times

an open forum for student expression

Tri-Color Times

an open forum for student expression

Tri-Color Times

Boys soccer pivots from a soccer-first culture to a student-athlete mindset


THIS YEAR, the Granger boys soccer team started off with a Blue vs White Kickoff event! It was a friendly game from both teams, the First team and the Reserve team were mixed together and put in separate teams to play, blue and white. There were tacos for food and a halftime game showcasing the development team as well. This was a great way to keep everyone in the stands entertained and understand that soccer is meant to be fun.

All the teams were equally recognized and were a part of the kickoff event. There were friends and family that came to support the players and the team overall. It was a great way of not only getting the players excited for the new season, but also to excite the parents and show what to expect this season.

Being a coach for any team can be difficult, but for Coach Stockstill, being the boys soccer coach has its ups and downs. “The easiest thing about being the coach is that I feel fortunate to have such great support from the school administration, a great coaching and management staff, and a great group of players to work with day in and day out. One of the biggest challenges that we face is creating a supportive environment that allows our athletes to perform at their best (e.g. academic support, physical and mental health, nutrition, etc.). Everything we do as a program has to take into consideration the whole person and not just the student as an athlete. This can be exhausting but we feel like it pays off in the long run when we see our athletes perform at their best!” coach Stockstill said.

The following week after the kickoff event, the boys soccer team started off very strong with their first win against Ben Lomond 2-0! Coach Stocktstill said, “From a results perspective, we are 5-1 (2-0 in the Region) and off to the best start since I was hired four years ago. There have been some challenges on and off the field, but the boys have been great about taking accountability and working together to improve each time out.” The boys team is currently 5–1 overall with the only lost being against Bingham. Coach Stockstill is correct that the boys soccer team has been performing better than before.

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“The season so far has been a good start. I wish to show it more by goals in games, but we’ve had the best start to boys soccer in three years,” Abraham Vargas (11) said.

“I think I have played my role in the soccer team pretty well. Yet I have a lot to improve on. I have scored two goals so far, but I think I could’ve scored more. I think we have a lot to improve as a team, but nothing will stop us from giving a hard battle,” Vargas said.

In those three years, many of the players on the team have felt the need for improvement. Not only them as a player, but as well as a team. With the overall standing at 5-1, it certainly shows in the scores that their hard work is paying off. “I personally think I’ve been playing good so far, but I know I can play much better as the season progresses. I believe that I’m currently not playing at my full potential, but I’ll eventually get there!” Kevin Segura (12) said.

With the boys being more than mentally ready for the rest of the season, they see the improvement that they need to happen, and they are more than willing to put in the work and show their determination to continue to play at their best.

“The players have been excellent. They’ve dealt with adversity including some injuries, but they have really bought into the ‘next player up’ mentality. This is the best collective group of players I’ve had the opportunity to work with, and while it might sound like a cliche, with this group, the TEAM is the star!” coach Stockstill said.

The team hopes to change the soccer-first culture, to show that those players on the field are students, friends and family who thrive on the field and are valued not just as players but as regular teenagers. They also hope to win region this year as many teams always do. The commitment the boys have and the discipline they show will make them a great team. “I hope for us to win the region at the end of the season. This year, we have a good chance to have an amazing season but with that, it needs commitment from every player, and to have each other on check,” Vargas said.

“In any given season, the goal is always the same. We hope as a coaching staff that we’ve created an environment where the players feel like they are valued not just as players, but as people. The experience of competing with your teammates and friends can provide a positive impact well beyond your playing days. We hope regardless of the results the players have some memories to take with them moving forward,” Coach Stockstill said.

“I hope the team wins region and for us to become closer as a family and not just a team,” Segura said.

These boys practice, have games, and have classes together for the last couple of months in the school year. They spend most of their time on the sport of soccer, but they make great friendships to the point where they are comfortable to call each other family.

Every student athlete has had their favorite game of the season. A game that they can remember vividly and know almost everything that happened that day.

“My favorite game was probably the game against Taylorsville. We hadn’t beaten a team by more than 1 the whole season until we won T-Ville 4-1. I also scored in that game!” Vargas said.

Coach Stockstill enjoyed many games. “That’s a tough question to answer because each game has been enjoyable for one reason or the other. From a purely excitement standpoint the most recent game against Taylorsville was fun because we were able to score four goals, and everyone was playing with smiles on their faces. We hope to be able to replicate the performance more than once moving forward,” he said.

Taylorsville was a great game and competition for the boys, but so were the schools who are not in Granger’s region. “My favorite game so far has to be when we went against Jordan because we went to overtime, and I liked how much intensity the team felt and how we were all looking to win the game,” Segura said.

Soccer isn’t only a sport where kids can make friends and play, it’s a sport to have fun, to create amazing friendships and to show off the talent and hard work that many students have. “As a coach, I’ve always been optimistic and confident and strive to instill the same values in the team. With that said, this group of players is different than any group I’ve coached. Soccer is a funny game and sometimes the ball is bouncing in your favor. This group has grit and determination to deal with challenges even when things aren’t going their way. I look forward to being part of their journey this season!” coach Stockstill said.


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