By Ariana Lopez ‘18 and Brandon Valladares ‘18
Girls soccer tryouts have been taking place after school for the past couple of weeks. Numerous girls have passed and continued on to the second cuts. As many have seen in the hallways, the girls have been working extremely strenuously. From specific work out to weekly routines. Jose Contreras, Pritzker soccer coach and paraprofessional, says “we do individual technical drills and intense conditioning workouts.” Contreras also mentioned that their goal was to get the players into shape whether they had soccer experience or not. Amanda Meyers, also a soccer coach and freshman Composition teacher, also stated that they wish to modify the stretches the players to accommodate to the player’s individual ability. “It just depends on what the goal for that day is,” added Meyers. Coaches like to focus on things they wish to improve. For example, Meyers express that they split the girls up according to their position and do different workouts with them.
On the topic of standards, both coaches had correlating replies. Contreras declared that they look for “dedicated, and hard-working athletes.” Meyers agreed, “skills is part of it, but more than skills is hard work and commitment.” As the interview went on, most of the answers regarding the sport dealt with dedication and commitment. Contreras made it very clear that they do not necessarily look for players with experience, but rather players with a want to get better and work for it.
Good grades is also a great factor in getting admitted onto the team. Meyers explained that of students are constantly in AIP, it will interfere with their soccer, which will cause later problems.
Coach Contreras also played soccer. His own experience with the sport allowed him to coach it with specialty. According to Contreras, he played since he was barely four years old! “It brings me great joy to coach here at Pritzker,” he stated. Meyers played for 12 years since she was seven. So both of the coaches gave a great idea of the necessities that need to be fulfilled in order to be in the team. Guadalupe Ramos, Sophomore, described her ultimate challenge “As part of the team, my ultimate achievement would be working really hard in order to bring another trophy home. We did it last year, and I believe that with hard work and determination from every single one of us would help us earn another one and get us further than where we did last year.”
Meyers and the players agreed that conditioning is the worst part because “nobody is really in shape.” It’s convenient though, because it allows the coaches to see the strengths and breaking points of each player.
“Show up each day ready to give it your all. Don’t assume you deserve something before you put in the hard work to earn it,” stated Contreras. He describes his job as helping players reach their “fullest potential.” The girls await the successes and surprises that the season will bring.