Panther Pride

by

Prescott, AZ- “Panthers on three. One, two, three, Panthers!” The Tri-City College Prep High School soccer team played their penultimate home game on Tuesday, September 25. The Panthers played Madison Highland Prep High School out of Phoenix, Arizona. “That week, we played the four most difficult teams in our ranking,” says Deven Kohler, the reserved keeper for the Tri-City Prep Panthers, “but Madison Highland Prep was the hardest ranked team in our division.”

TCP’s Coach, Coach Yadron, was truly proud of his team for holding up against Madison Highland’s team. Even after being asked what he would have his team do differently next time, Coach Yadron replied with, “Probably nothing. I thought everybody played well. Overall we are happy with the match.”

There was a gargantuan stigma surrounding how this game would turn out. All of the players knew that Madison Highland Prep was the team to beat and that if they were going to go down, it would not be without a fight. Prior to the Tri-City versus Madison Highland game, Madison Highland had a 23 game winning streak. This fact caught the ear of Tri-City, especially its soccer team. This affected our players and their mindsets.

“You could see by the way they played today that they had a little bit more intensity. They know that they had to try hard on every possession…” states Coach Yadron.

“We played decently,” says Arath Aguayo, the team’s starting left. “I don’t think we played as well as people say we did because we don’t have the best team chemistry, but it has brought us together in some ways.”

Team chemistry seems to have been the most highlighted theme of Tuesday’s game. Sam Winters, starting keeper, commented on his team’s chemistry as well, “If the players on the field are grumpy the whole team becomes grumpy, and if there is drama happening outside of the field, then it gets brought onto the field.”

A big factor that occurs within team chemistry, and chemistry in any group, is drama. Social media runs rampant in all of our lives and social constructions. The idea of a social media page specifically for ran for the soccer team at TCP was brought up to Sam Winters. He replied, “The last thing we need is more conflict.”

On the contrary to conflict and drama, Tri-City Prep has a great audience for all of its events, including Tuesday’s game. We all know that attitude and support help our players immensely. When asked how the attitude of the audience affects the way they play, Arath Aguayo stated, “Our audience, for the most part, are pretty supportive, and they hype us up.”

As the game came to a close, with a win by Madison Highland Prep High School 6-0, emotions ran through our field. Some were negative such as irritation, disappointment, and exhaustion. Others, though, were positive. As the players huddled up to talk to their coach, you could see the pride that streamed through all of the parents, friends, teammates, and coaches’ eyes. “…we played our hardest out there and we made really good plays…” stated Sam Winters. As the team dispersed to go home after a long day and exhausting play, all of the negative emotions slipped out of sight, and we saw the pride of Tri-City Prep High School once again in their smiles.

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