We have a cancer festering in our program. You might think I am crazy to lead with such a negative statement in such a public way, but I am calling on everyone in the program – players, coaches and parents alike – to help us turn this around before the season is lost. This past week we conducted a systematic investigation, with support of GMHS administration, that uncovered hazing/bullying, teasing, childish behavior, and disrespectful varsity players in the grandstands at both our JV game and a game of another GMHS sport. This will simply not be tolerated. Your coaching staff now has a clear understanding of how a team with this kind of conditioning and tallent went 3-11-1 last year. The culture needs a complete overhaul, and we need your help.
Going forward, correction for players, and challenges directed at officials, are to come from the coaches only. We all have a role to play in this program. Players, you must play fearlessly – without worry about criticism from your teammates. This is absolutely vital. And it means as players, you absolutely cannot criticize your teammates or officials in any way. This is now zero tolerance. Parents, I have a ton of experience playing your role. I have four kids, and have logged many hours in athletic bleachers. Cheer you kids on! Cheer their teammates as well. If they aren’t doing it the way you think they should, please keep that to yourself. We have a strategy. You may or may not agree with it, but you do not have a role in strategic planning mid-season. Your role is the best one, I think. Your role is to make sure these kids know you love and support them. And that is all.
Action will be swift. Varsity starters who don’t make an immediate attitude change will lose starts, lose playing time, only get minutes in JV games, and eventually, be dismissed from the team. Parents, if you see your kiddo losing playing time, this is the reason. I encourage you to talk to them about it.
The news coming out of our investigation is not all bad. We have some seriously outstanding senior leadership coming from the majority of our five 12th graders. Others among us just want to play hard and try to get better. There is hope. A ton of hope, actually.
And it showed on the pitch at 4pm on Thursday. Our JV squad tallied their second consecutive shutout. Way to go, #NoGoalPatrol with Shaun, Miles and Grayden combining to earn a clean sheet in goal, and stifling defense from Giancarlo and Miles at center back. Peter was on fire to start the game with five shots on goal in the first ten minutes, resulting in a goal and an assist. Giancarlo dropped an incredibly composed free kick just under the crossbar, and Colin and David had nice goals as well (along with an assist from Kaden). But my favorite goal of the night was when Kai flawlessly executed our attack point offense, carrying the ball to the endline and driving it across the six to a crashing Caden. That’s just how we are trying to draw it up!
Our varsity squad notched an impressive shutout draw with on-the-field leadership from Luke, Nolan, Brandon and Cian in back that kept Brady’s jersey mostly clean. No goals allowed in 80 minutes is something to be proud of and build on. We had lots of chances on the attack, and utilized the wings effectively. We’ve got to learn to play freely and fearlessly, and expect to win, and we will start to convert those chances. With probably 70% possession for a defend-and-counter-attack team, all the pieces are there, and we will put the puzzle together.
At TJ Tuesday
We play back-to-back matches (varsity 4:30pm, JV 6:30pm) on Tuesday, August 29th at Thomas Jefferson. We are still working on the Jefferson varsity match reschedule, with Friday, September 1st at LMF as our current offer to them. We will keep you updated.
Team Store and Boosters Contact
The original link to the team store expired, and our vendor gave us this new link. Remember, orders are due by Labor Day.
If you have not received an email from Jean DeMoss, Green Mountain Soccer Boosters, please send her an email to get on her distribution list about team dinners and other activities: [email protected].
Heart of a Champion?
Our Green Mountain Soccer program has tallent to succeed. Do we have the heart?