Soccer seniors share their experience, leave tips for remaining players


KwaTashea Marfo , Editor-in-Chief

The boys’ varsity soccer team managed to get an overall score of 12-6-1 for their 2018-2019 soccer season. To the team, this is a great accomplishment.

“I thought this was one of our better years,” said senior Jovan Simakoski. “It’s a step in the right direction; we had a win against Crown Point and we beat Valpo.”

However, some soccer players think that there could have been room for more improvement.

“I feel like one of our main problems [ this season] was showing up,” said Jesus Mendez, one of the captains on the boys varsity soccer team. “We were there, but mentally we weren’t prepared. [For example] after our Crown Point win, we were riding off the high of ‘we just beat Crown Point’, that hasn’t happened in a long time. So our next game against Griffith, we thought we could just beat them. Which we should have beaten them, [but] we showed up cocky and thought it was going to be an easy game and didn’t work hard.”  

Some may think soccer is just an another sport to play at Portage High School, but to Jovan Simakoski, soccer is his dream come true.

“I remember one time I went into ball boy [recieves balls that goes out of play during a soccer game] and I saw them [the soccer team] win a game; after seeing that, it became a dream to play on the field with the Indian head,” said Simakoski. “Now as a senior, I can say my dream has come true.”

On senior night, happiness to complete the season as a team ran through their veins but the ending of the season made them teary-eyed.

“I don’t know the exact words to describe my emotions for that night,” said Mendez. “I was happy that I got to spend all this time with my team, but I was sad that it has come to an end.”

Similarly, Simakoski felt the same way.

“Not going to lie, I did kind of tear up,” said Simakoski. “Seeing your parents walk out with you, along with everyone else. And we had a really large crowd behind our backs to motivate us throughout the game. It was a really good feeling overall.”  

With senior night being the seniors’ last time on PHS’s soccer field, seniors, Mendez and Simakoski, wish to leave a few tips for the players that will return next year.

“Now that we’re leaving, you guys have to continue where we left off,” said Simakoski. “I know that this year has been a great year and the winning mentality is coming into play, but you have to earn it and work hard in the off season and you’ll do just fine. But other than that, just have fun and enjoy every practice, bus ride home, and every victory that will make a memory.”

Even though the soccer team is losing their seniors, Mendez still wants them to keep their heads held high.

“We have twelve seniors on the soccer team, we’re all leaving. This leaves a bad feeling for the lowerclassmen,” said Mendez. “I’ve talked to them and I guess they’re not confident of how the team is going to be doing because we’re losing so many players and a lot of spots are going to be open. I just want to tell them even when the road looks hard, keep your head up; there’s always a way to win.”

For any athlete that is graduating, leaving a team that you have played on for majority of your high school career will be hard, but the best you can do is take the memories along with you as you advance in life.

“I enjoyed playing with the guys, they mean the world to me,” said Simakoski. “I will miss the people for sure, with their personalities and vibrant energies. And I will also miss the feeling of getting on the field and putting on PHS’s  jersey.”