After kicking off the season with a win against Monte Vista High school, the Berkeley High School boys’ varsity soccer team proved that, despite having undergone some big changes in its roster, it will continue to strive for success.
The team, which is under the intense but caring leadership of coach Andre Hebert and assistant coach Blaise Curet, faces pressure to live up to last year’s remarkable success.
Last year, the boys’ soccer team held an impressive record of 21-3-2 and won the league finals, securing a spot in the North Coast Section (NCS) championships.
This year, however, the team is largely composed of new players, with the exception of five returning seniors. “Last year, our whole team was composed of players who had already played varsity for at least a year,” said Arturo Verdin, a senior and one of the captains of the team. “We are finding ways to adjust the new players to the competitive style in which we played the year before,” he added.
One of the ways the team has gone about addressing the lack of experience is by holding locker room meetings in which players discuss strategy and encourage one another to give their all on the field. “It really helps strengthen the team’s chemistry because it gives the younger players confidence. After all, they will be the ones who will lead the team in the future,” said Verdin.
The team aims to maintain a strong record for the rest of the season, and win both the league finals and the NCS championships. “The captains will have to lead the new players and organize them so that we can build a strong foundation,” said Verdin. One of the advantages of a young team is that the younger players are very resilient, and possess a great amount of potential.
As of December 11, the boys hold a 4-1-1 record. Amongst the schools defeated teams stands San Lorenzo High School, who was demolished with an outstanding score of 6-0.
“We have shown that our lack of experience does not mean anything and that all we need to do as captains is lead and organize the new players so that we can build a strong foundation,” said Verdin.
As of December 11, the boys varsity team also sits in the number one spot of the North Coast Section Division 1 rankings, with College Park High School (Pleasant Hill) and Monte Vista High School (Danville) coming in second and third place.
But the varsity team isn’t the only team packing players with talent, both the freshman and junior varsity teams have also demonstrated that with a bit of practice and dedication, they too can thrive in a competitive atmosphere. Despite competing against some of the best teams in the conference, the junior varsity team holds a record of 0-2-1, while the Freshmen team has yet to lose a game with a record of 1-3-0 as of December 11.
The Berkeley High soccer program is very robust and will continue to produce determined, passionate, and exceptionally talented players who will be more than ready to play soccer at the college level and beyond