Boys’ soccer trains for season

Imagine being on a beautiful, sunny island surrounded by blue oceans, and tanning on the sandy beaches. This is what many members of the varsity soccer team will be doing during their spring break, chilling in the gorgeous land of Costa Rica. The team will use this trip to bond with their teammates and play some international games. The soccer season hasn’t even started yet and the boys are thinking of a conference championship. They are hoping to build off the Costa Rica trip and gel together to get off to a fast start. The season kicks off April 3 and it is not as far away as it seems. The varsity players have been having optional practices in the early mornings before school for about six weeks to help themselves get conditioned in time for official practices. They have also been participating in after school lifting sessions in order to bulk up for the physical play of the CIML. This dedication to off-season workouts is an example that the boys can have a very special season this year. “It has been tough getting up for the early practices,” senior Jason Marrs said. “But we all know it will pay off in the long run.” The team returns a standout goalie that has been playing varsity since his sophomore year and is now a senior. He goes by the name Kyle Talbot and he has recently signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Truman State University. They also return a couple of strong scoring threats at the forward position with seniors Brendan Babcock and Matt Laczniak. In the midfield they return seniors Jason Marrs and Justin Gleason, who both started many of games and are poised to make a run at starting every game, but they have some tough shoes to fill from last year. Paulo Michelini, Kyle Thomas and Daniel Kinker all patrolled the midfield positions a year ago. Michelini was one of the most talented midfielders Ames High has ever seen and he will be sorely missed. Thomas and Kinker each played great parts in their supporting roles. Moving on to the defense, the Little Cyclones return a shut down fullback senior Jared Downard. Downard has the quickness and strength to stop almost every opposing forward in the CIML, and should add a lot of help to goalkeeper Talbot. “We should have a good chance to win conference this year,” senior Jojo Fabiosa said, “Due to the fact that most of the strong competition has graduated from last year.” Coming off the bench the team has a bunch of other strong seniors to support the starters. They include Yoni Ackerman, Fabiosa, Jeremey Hurley, Rob Wanzek, and Michael Kraemer. They have not had much varsity experience but they hope to give a little extra spark to the team. The Cyclones also have a strong junior class coming in to challenge some starting spots. While many of us will be stuck at home in the cold weather during spring break, the boys’ soccer team will be honing their skills in beautiful Costa Rica, getting ready for a season of high expectations. “This years team should be successful because all of us have grown up playing together,” Fabiosa said. The Little Cyclones hope the teams in the CIML will be caught off guard when Ames High sneaks up on them with their well-conditioned squad, due to all of their offseason dedication and hard work.