Boys soccer exceeds expectations

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Boys soccer exceeds expectations

Eliana Rosenthal

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The Wilson boys varsity soccer team has proven yet again that they are a strong group of athletes, despite having to rebuild their team. This season, the boys had a regular season record of 11-3-2, and won their third straight DCIAA championship.

“We felt a great amount of pressure coming into this season,” junior forward Jason Nguyen said. “We lost a lot of seniors last year, so coming into this season we were working with a pretty new team.”

The team also worked with science teacher Jean-Claude Nkongolo, a first-year head coach this season. “We were really focused on learning from him and his coaching style. He is very strict, adding a whole new level of commitment,” senior goalie Nick Sessums said.

Having won the DCIAA championship, the team moved on to the DCSAA playoffs. In the quarterfinal round, they beat Bell Multicultural High School 3-0. They played Gonzaga College High School for a chance to advance to the finals on Thursday.

A big reason for the team’s success was the work they put in during morning training, allowing them to reinforce the bond that the team had in previous years. “When you’re waking up at 4 or 5 a.m. for practice, you see the commitment that others around you put in and it builds a lot of trust,” Sessums added. “There was a lot of experimenting with lineups. Eventually we found one that worked really well, which is reflected in our record.”

At the start of the season, there was some uncertainty surrounding the team’s future in the absence of a strong class of 2018. “Other teams underestimated us because they knew that we lost a lot of players,” Nguyen said. “They thought that we would be bad this year. But coming in as a new team, we always had that mentality that we were going to win cities again.”

The bonds among the members of the team created the supportive environment they needed to win DCIAA. “A great team builds a great community, and a great community builds a great team,” Nguyen said. “We are all so close,” Sessums said. “Coach says it every day. We’re all just a family.”