After ending the regular season with 13 wins, four losses, and two ties, the East varsity soccer team faced Batavia High School for its first playoff game. Unfortunately for the Wolves, this would be the team’s only playoff game. East ended its season with a 1-0 loss.
Even though it was disappointing to lose this early in the playoffs, sophomore Dimitri Huitron explained that the sense of loss felt by the team was strong.
“The lousy feelings experienced that day were feelings that no player on the team will forget. I feel like we should all learn from this experience to make us work harder and therefore improve on achieving excellence,” Huitron added.
East is trending in the right direction as seniors Ford Frazier and Nathan Huerter made school history this year by tying with each for most wins on varsity.
“[The playoff game] will definitely be used as motivation for next season. I believe that you learn the most from failures and I know this feeling will stay with the ones who will play next year,” junior Kyle Blasingame said.
Coach Stephen Szymanski thought that East played better than Batavia, but his team just didn’t capitalize on their opportunities when Batavia did, the coach said.
This was abnormal for this team, because it finished the regular season as the 4th seed. This was the highest seed earned in school history.
“We have a lot of young talent … All of our underclassmen are very hard working and will fulfill their potential to make next year very interesting,” sophomore Jack Conway said.
Conway went on to say that it should not go overlooked that the junior-varsity team will feed the varsity team next year.
Playing a sport in general at the varsity level requires a lot of effort to be successful. Senior Nolan Laczynski said that East really emulated that idea.
“I think the group of guys I’ve gotten to play with this year would be described as warriors, because we weren’t the strongest, biggest, or most skilled team. We had to manage to play without guys due to injury, but our work ethic and will to win made us successful this year,” Laczynski said.
Huerter credited the coaches for establishing a hard working environment on and off the field.
“The atmosphere that the coaches bring to the program is one of hard work. They really drilled home the idea of outworking the other team and everyone bought into that this year,” Laczynski added.
After competing alongside each other for months, it is not surprising for teams to become closer with one another, but this team was even closer than Szymanski has ever seen, according to the coach.
“This team had a very good bond. They all got along really well, played really well together, and had a lot of fun together. Not to say that teams in the past haven’t, but it just seemed like this team had a tighter knit group,” Szymanski said.
Senior Joey Bavol also noticed how it wasn’t only a team that was being built, but a family. It was rare for teams to be that close, and Conway said that was the case because of the captains.
“We became more than friends, we became brothers who needed each other and it all started with the captains Ford, Zach, and Kyle who brought everyone together and led our team in a very positive way,” Conway said.
Bradley Patten is a sports writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl