What are some soccer goals for this season?
Every year we want to push for nationals. It’s a natural goal every year, but last year, we got out on the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. We really want to be in the final. We think we have the team that can compete despite the beginning of the season. We have enough talent, ability and desire to the semis. Realistically, we want to make it to the final of the conference tournament so that we give ourselves a chance at nationals.
Is there a difference since you lost some seniors last year and gained some freshmen?
I think we have some good prospects with freshmen. It’s always hard to lose experienced players. We have a couple of freshmen, which will impact the team right away. It has been tough but we think that we are strong. The seniors we have this year are very experienced. They’ve had a lot of experience that can help carry us through.
What is it like playing for JBU and then now coaching for JBU?
It’s a tough transition because you’re used to kicking every ball and being on the field all the time. Now, I’ve had to step back a bit and learn to just coach from the sidelines. It’s hard but it’s better than not being involved in what you love. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to stay involved. I bleed blue and gold, so I am JBU through and through. I love it here, and it’s great to be a part of the team.
How do you feel about the new lights?
I’m a little jealous because they came after my time. I’m extremely happy. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad to see that we got the financial backing for them. I think, hopefully, it should create more of a buzz on campus so that we can have bigger crowds. Soccer is a sport that needs to be recognized more around campus. It’s a lot of fun and I think it definitely creates a different atmosphere with lights.
Does the team have pre- game rituals?
We get together and always have a chat and a prayer. We call it “Pregame Chapel,” where either a professor will come and speak, or one of the boys will share something. We’ll usually sing a song or two together, and then after that we go through pregame tactics. We’ll give the boys a little time to dance and sing. That is usually led by our internationals.
Do you have anything to add?
We have a great group of guys. I would like people on campus, if you’re in class with them,
to get to know them. They’re all pretty kind even if they do look a bit scary. Please come out and support us because it makes a difference.