Junior leaders Anthony and Shihab were both on North Star’s JV Soccer team this year. We talked to them about what their time on the team was like, here’s what they had to say:
Why did you decide to try out for soccer?
Shihab: I’ve always been playing soccer, I’ve loved it since I was born! It’s fun.
Anthony: In middle school I actually hated the sport, then I watched a video and I saw this guy play and it was really whoa, so I started playing a bit and I wasn’t the best but there’s something about kicking the ball around.
What was the try out process like?
Shihab: You get nervous, but it’s only three days so you just get through that. Just show up and do your best.
Anthony: Gruesome, agonizing, intense. [Laughs] Just kidding. I was a little bit nervous, yeah, because there are people who have been on the team for awhile and I haven’t. I was nervous that the coaches wouldn’t notice me, but I went out there and tried my hardest.
Have you been on a soccer team before?
Shihab: Yes, when I lived in Texas I played a couple seasons and this is my third season since moving here.
Anthony: 8th grade was when I started playing competitively at my middle school and I’ve been playing since then. I wasn’t the best, I still had a lot to learn, but each team I’ve been on since then I’ve learned something new and have gotten better and better.
What was the first game of the season like?
Anthony: More aggressive than practice for sure, you have the mindset that you have to win. During practice it’s comfortable because you know how your teammates play, but when it’s a real game you have to prepare for the unexpected because you have no clue what they’ll play like.
How does practice feel different from a game? How do you deal with nerves?
Shihab: During the game you feel a bit nervous, but you can’t think about losing. You always just say “I’ll do my best, we’ll win this game and the next one.”
Anthony: Like I said, you have to prepare for the unexpected. I try to think about how other players are doing, I have to analyze what I need to do and how I can be better. For nerves, I do this thing where I jump up and down to pump myself up and get ready.
What do you like about being on a team? How does it feel?
Shihab: This year I made a couple new friends that are on the team, I’m close with them because we’re spending so much time playing together and having fun, that’s what’s it’s all about.
Anthony: This is my first year on JV and everyone else knew each other because they’d played together before, so I thought I’d be an outsider, but they’re really great people. I’ve met great people. Having people who will always have your back. Maybe during a game the other team is messing with you, but even one of your teammates who you don’t talk to much, will defend you.
What does soccer mean to you?
Shihab: It motivates me to do well in school so that I can play. I watch a lot of soccer so I can get better, I feel passionate about soccer and learning from [the Premier League]. It’s good to keep getting better at soccer, because that’s my goal, to become a soccer player or coach.
Anthony: It’s great to be on a team and I also like the competition. You get adrenaline during the game and I like the challenge as you compete against [each new team]. For example, when we played Southwest and made that awesome comeback it felt so great.