Another soccer season has come and gone and a handful of the soccer players will never be returning again. The last game of this season was the last of their high school career. Seniors, Juan Vargas, Hunter Graff, Max Naemura, and Jack Burritt were recognized at Senior Night on October 20th. Vargas and Burritt have played four years on the HR soccer team, while Graff and Naemura played for two years. Each player began their high school soccer journey in a different way, but finished it together.
Graff moved to Highlands Ranch his sophomore year and joined soccer his junior year. “It was hard to adjust to a new school, but when I joined soccer everyone was so welcoming and accepted me,” said Graff. Naemura agrees that being a part of the soccer team has had a positive impact on him. “I became a better player, a better leader, and a better teammate,” said Naemura.
This season was head coach, Spencer Ward’s, first time leading the boys soccer team. Ward began assisting at HR about five years ago, but had to step down due to other work commitments. When the opportunity came to coach again, Ward applied for the position. “I can only see good things for this soccer program and for Mr. Wright. When we make the playoffs, he’ll wear man capris during the game, so I need to fulfill his wishes soon,” said Ward.
Reflecting on the season, the numbers may appear grim, standing at two wins and 13 losses. However, looking closer at the teamwork and the leadership from the seniors, their season was a success. Ward said, “We had a very successful season and improved on the previous season, scored more goals, played attacking soccer, worked hard, and fought hard in every game.”
Vargas, Graff, Naemura, and Burritt will miss the sport, their teammates, and coaches as they continue on from high school. As they were asked what they are proud of and hope to see for the future of the boys HR soccer team, their responses were unwaveringly confident.
“We gave a fight every single game.” -Juan Vargas
“We have a lot of good underclassmen that will be able to carry the team and Max has instilled a lot of leadership in those guys, that will carry forward. I don’t think it will slow down, it will just keep going.” -Hunter Graff
“We showed the passion that you should have for every soccer game and the work ethic that you should have as a senior.” -Jack Burritt
“Our program is on the rise. My advice for underclassmen is just have fun. Stay optimistic about how the program will turn out to be. Go out there, try your best, give 100% every day and everything will go smoothly.” -Max Naemura
Emma Atchison, Online Editor