With fields preened and freshly striped, the Allendale Varsity Soccer team slides on shin guards and laces their cleats with poise and positivity. This group of young men brings fresh heart and determination to a young program still growing and learning together.
Having worked together since mid-August, Coach Payton and Coach White have been most impressed with the way this group listens and shows an eagerness to learn, stating, “We have gotten better every day in practice! We had a tough start to the season, but the players are working hard and not giving up.”
It seems these men realize that “not giving up” is a life skill that will serve them well throughout life. It is a message that they’ve grasped with heart and hand, leaning on both their coaches and the student-leaders on the team to keep improving. This year’s team captain, Quent Rauch is a senior who models the tireless work ethic and game mastery his teammates seek to emulate. He is quick to help teach the game and clarify confusion on the field, and does so with the kind of humility that makes him a servant leader in the truest sense.
Quent is supported by several other natural leaders that model excellence in their own way: Josh Longo (senior), Luke Hamlin (junior), and Cameron Ham (freshman) display a work ethic indicative of their varsity standing, spurring others to keep going — to not give up. Additionally, Abe Juarez (sophomore) and Hondo Ibanez (freshman) bring knowledge of the game and years of experience to the field.
Coach Payton notes that the Allendale community and team parents have done much to bolster the program and support our student-athletes. Julie Smoes has spearheaded fundraisers and has also partnered with Touka Kelly to help with the sorting and distributing of team shirt orders. Touka and many other parents have additionally gone out of their way to apply for grants or sponsorships from local businesses, bringing support to the program while creating a valuable partnership with our community.
Of course these moms also realize that a group of growing boys demands food, and they are ready to lend a hand — or a spoon full of casserole. Sonya Archer has offered to coordinate snacks for both the JV and Varsity teams, and is working with an army of others to provide upcoming team dinners. “I have been very thankful and impressed with the support from our parents. They are making the experience of playing soccer at Allendale a good one,” said Coach Payton.
“The players on this team have been really fun to work with. Not only are they good listeners and they come with a good attitude every day to practice, but they are good kids as well. I look forward to working with them more and more. I like just being around the kids. They work hard and they never give up.”
>>Consider coming out to show your support TODAY as the Falcons take on the Sparta High School Spartans!
The game will be held in Sparta at 6:45.
Go Falcon Soccer!!
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