Trying Out for Varsity Soccer


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Jill Zmolek, Reporter

There is something beautiful about walking the halls of Ames High in late March. The birds aren’t singing yet, but it’s the only time one can look at their peers and know whether or not they are trying out for soccer. Those who are, bless them, can be distinguished by the zombie shuffle of their walk, the backpacks of incomplete homework, and the tears they wipe away when their next class is upstairs.

 This year, 45 students tried out for two teams on the first day, with cuts being made after morning conditioning. There are 16 spots available for varsity, and 19 for JV. After the first day, 23 were left in the running for varsity.


“Stadiums and circle runs are the hardest part,” said senior Tyler Griffin, an avid soccer player since the age of two.

Stadium sprints are series of sprinting and jumping up and down the stadium bleachers and circles require players to run constantly, otherwise time is added down to the countdown clock. The clock won’t count down unless everyone is running, a minute is added for cursing, and two minutes for accidentally touching a cone.

“Even if you don’t think you can make it, the coaches see you trying no matter where your skill level is currently at,” says Griffin. He says it’s a “rude awakening, and not just for freshman.” Even returning players have collapsed if not prepared enough. Seven players vomited at the first morning practice.

Head coach Chad Zmolek was asked about having players hold 40 pound bags of sand over their heads as they run. Smiling and lying through his teeth, he said, “They’re exaggerating. It’s not that bad.”soccer-photography-tips4-e