For the 2021 Fall season, the Lincoln Junior Varsity Boys Soccer team had a remarkably successful season. Led by Coach Jason Hall, the team went undefeated with an overall record of eleven wins, zero loses, and three draws.
Reporter, Skylar Debose, sat down with JV players Esteban Reyes, Parker Sanderson, and Luke Cordry to hear more about their season and what led to their success.
The following interviews have been edited for brevity and clarity.
What factors do you think led to having a successful season?
Reyes: I think our coaching was really great. Jason did a great job by really bringing us all together. We all got along really well in and out of practice, and I think that helped a lot in our season. Everybody was really good.
Why did you get along so well and what made the coaching great?
Jason allowed us to lead our own practices in a way, which made them really fun, and he gave us drills that we enjoyed, but we also learned from them, and we got better from them, and that was really helpful. He also gave us a lot of playing time, by rotating everybody around. The aspect of getting to know the teammates was really easy because we had a group chat, and we all really already knew each other and talked a lot in and out of school. It was just a really, really welcoming team and I thought it was great to be a part of it.
Sanderson: The team chemistry was unmatched. We were all a bunch of lads, a bunch of friends. I mean, our playstyle is where we connect, and that's what led to having a successful season I believe.
What do you think created that good team chemistry?
Sanderson: I think the experience. We've been playing with each other for a long time, and many of us are on the same club team, you know, past experiences? So, I mean, we're all a lot of familiar faces on the team.
Cordry: Definitely Thien [Hoang], he was a big difference maker on the field. And Jason, our head coach, was great.
Why Thien and Jason in particular? How did they help lead your team to success?
Well, for Jason, we ran a 3-5-2 formation and it worked very well. And he really developed the players into the best that they could be. Also, shout out to our little varsity freshmen stars Max Eisenberg and [Oliver] MacLaren, they were very good as well.
What was the team environment like?
Reyes: It was a really fun and exciting team to say the least. Everybody was really welcoming, and they made jokes all the time. But when we really got into those difficult games, and parts of the games where we weren't doing so well, we got in our zone, we got ready to play, and we did what needed to be done. The players would always make you feel like they actually cared about your success; complimenting you, telling you you could improve, and that was really helpful.
Cordry: We had great chemistry. A lot of our team was super funny, and we just fed off of that energy. Then we just came in every game with the mentality that we were better than the other team.
When did your team reach your “peak?” Best game?
Sanderson: For the first half of the season we kind of coasted through a bunch of teams that were less likely to put up a good match. Towards the end, we got our stuff together and played some good matches.
Cordry: Our best game was definitely against South Salem. We won eight zero, mercy-ruled with like 30 minutes left, and they were actually a good team.
What do you think led to that successful win?
Cordry: We had bangers, like all of our shots went in and they were all crazy. Also, we just had really good possession and communication.
Reyes: I joined late but I think halfway through the season is when we were really at the point where we were unstoppable. We were all ready to play, and we just went for it, and it worked really well.
Were there any times during the season where your team struggled? Toughest game?
Cordry: Some of our last games [against Wells and Grant] were not it. We tied both of those games when we should have won like 5-0. They were big cheaters and liked to foul a lot. Against grant we dominated, but then they had a late penalty goal. Also, it was probably the muddiest game I think any of us have ever played. Shout out to Delta Park.
Reyes: Wells was probably our toughest game. They scored on us in like [the first] 12 seconds. We started with the ball, accidentally played across our defense, a kid caught us off guard and scored. Our whole plan went to shambles, and then they started to “park the bus,” which was really annoying because we couldn't get past. Then Luke [Cordry] scored a really good goal that brought our confidence up. But it was just a tough game, mentally and physically, and I think we were all upset after because we felt like we should have won.
Did the team have any goals set before the season? Did you expect to go undefeated?
Sanderson: We knew coming into the season that we were a good squad with some good talent, so we expected not to really get blown out at all. But no matter what, going undefeated is always a good thing.
Cordry: Yeah that [going undefeated] was definitely our goal going into the season. Our first game we actually tied, but then we bounced back and we completed our goal.
Reyes: Jason, our coach, said “this is definitely one of my best teams ever.” So we just focused on playing our best and getting an undefeated season, and we achieved it.
If you play club soccer, how is high school soccer (particularly this past season) different from the club soccer experience?
Reyes: So I played last year, sophomore season, on JV2. I felt like it was competitive, but not too competitive and I felt like I didn't get much better. Coming into this season it was definitely a better team. Nothing I was used to, nothing like club, nothing like my last season. The experience was also great because I got to play with all my friends and I made a lot of new friends. I think this last year was definitely one of my favorite sports teams ever, for sure. My favorite soccer season ever.
Cordry: I like high school soccer a lot more because I have more friends on the team. I haven't played club soccer in like four years because I didn't really enjoy it all that much once they split players by the year they were born. We [JV] had good chemistry because we all knew each other from school.
Sanderson: The club soccer experience is more technical and gritty, whereas in high school you can just be laid back with your friends and have a more relaxed fun time.
Interviewed by: Skylar Debose