Varsity soccer to host regional game against Emporia


Senior Santiago Fernandez is caught in motion while kicking from the corner in the Oct. 15 home game. Photo by Jamilid Romero

Ann Pomeroy, Newtonian Editor-in-Chief

After forgoing strenuous summer training, fatiguing fall practices and despite factors set in place by the COVID-19 pandemic the NHS boys varsity soccer team is making the best of the obstacles and have won themselves a number one seed for regionals. Number one seed meaning the best record and a home field advantage.

Coach Scott Jantzi explains that one of the biggest challenges this year was keeping everyone safe from COVID-19. Jantzi has been a part of the NHS Soccer Program since 2000 and is currently assisted by first-year assistants Mark Pierce and Marco Valdivia.

While seated on the bench, Senior Santiago Fernandez and sophomore Jesus Renteria watch the game. Photo by Jamilid Romero

“The overall outlook for the season has been good,” Jantzi said. “The boys have been working hard. They are fun to watch and fun to coach. I hope we get the fan support we deserve going into the postseason.”

The team is currently 10-6, an improvement from their 4-11-2 2019 season. The first open regional game was scheduled for Tuesday Oct. 27 however the game was rescheduled to Thursday Oct. 29 due to inclement weather. The opposing team, the Spartans, are currently 7-7-1. Jantzi reflects on previous seasons of his career stating how the last time the team won the regional championship was in 2017, when the current seniors were freshmen.

“We have had several seasons like this one,” Jantzi said. “It has been a three to four year cycle. These seniors were freshmen when we won our last regional championship. We have a good shot again this year.”

The team has eight returning seniors, Alex Sanchez, Santiago Fernandez, Carsen Ebert, Selvin Abrego, Armando Alvarez, Geraldo Torres, Juan Porras and Trev Golubski. These upperclassmen members are key to the success of the team in that the team has built a very strong bond and are able to help and encourage one another.

“I believe the success has come from the experience of our senior class and younger players that push the upperclassmen to be their best in training,” Jantzi said.

With 22:40 left on the clock, senior Santiago Fernandez dribbles the ball down the field. Photo by Jamilid Romero

Senior Santiago Fernandez, explains that the team faces few weaknesses this season and that this season has been one for the books. Some of the contributing factors to the team’s success according to Fernandez are keeping their touches to a two-three maximum and moving the ball around very well and getting up the field dangerously. He would personally like to improve on placing his shots in these final games in order to put more goals in the net early on in the game that way the defense can ease their way through the game.

“I have been a part of the NHS Soccer Program all four years of high school,” Fernandez said. “This year I would definitely have to say is the best yet, and we are not even done! My freshman year was one to remember but this year is something different.”

“Chemistry is most definitely one of our greatest strengths when it comes to this team. When everyone’s mindset is on we’re unstoppable,” Fernandez said. “Make sure everyone makes it out to our post season games! We’re a fun team to watch!”