By: Avery Hudkins
They shoot, they score! Through rain or shine, scrapes and bruises, and tiring practices, the Jenks soccer teams have thrived and pushed through a much different season than usual. With all the complications that came with COVID, the department did not let it interfere with their game. Without the hard work that went on behind the scenes, both teams would not have experienced success this season.
Starting off with the girl’s team, what a year! From months of pre-season workouts to conditioning sessions, multiple team competitions, as well as scrimmages, these ladies put in the hard work that goes into the sport. This year not only did the varsity girls team have a very successful season but JV as well. Going undefeated all season, the JV girls team had over 48 goals all together. The Jenks Girls varsity team were District champions as well as going on to win the Deer Creek Tournament beating the hosting team 3-1 in the championship. Overall, such a successful season for these two Lady Trojan teams.
The team is determined to come back even more victorious next year in hopes to win the state championship.
All time leading scorer of the year for varsity, Van Fitch (12), had quite the impressive influence she was hoping for. Ford Player of the Week, a receiver of Miss Impact, MVP of Deer Creek Tournament, Fitch is more than ready to continue her soccer career at the University of Arkansas.
Fitch has very good advice for newcomers in the program as well.
“The biggest lesson I learned this year is to focus on the present instead of the future because you’ll wish you stayed in the moment more,” Fitch says. “Be prepared to get everyone’s best game because everyone wants to beat Jenks. You will have fun along the way but the goal is to win.”
Fitch will miss the team, and will always cherish the memories she made over the past four years, such as the bus rides to away games with coach Jo driving, the music blaring, and everyone getting pumped up to play.
Varsity girls Coach Jo Johnson is very proud of how her team handled this unusual season.
“The COVID restrictions would have to be the biggest challenge the team had to overcome,” says Johnson. “The girls had to also be extremely flexible when teammates would get quarantined and there was always uncertainty about the season due to last year’s cancellation.”
Johnson is also very excited for next season.
“I am looking forward to building on the things we learned from this season and working towards the ultimate goal. For competitors the process is the fun part. The competition, weight room, getting better in practice, those are the moments we live for,” says Johnson.
Now let’s have a look at the boys team! Making it into the first round of playoffs was a huge achievement for the boys. The boys team faced some adversity this year during their season. At one point, 5 starters were out and injured. The team regrouped and tackled their challenges ahead of them. The boys won their last four games of their district in order to qualify for playoffs.
Varsity boys Coach Marshall is happy over how his team overcame obstacles throughout COVID, and managed to make it to the playoffs. Adjusting practices and schedules to adjust to COVID protocols was the biggest issue overall for the boys team.
Coach Marshall believes changing up practice sessions will aim his team to have a better season than this year. For any new boys trying out to make the team, Marshall has one piece of advice he’d like to share.
“Train like no one is watching, and be an intelligent footballer.”
Both teams will forever look back on this past season and be proud and happy with their accomplishments, the challenges they overcame, and memorable moments they will keep with them for a lifetime. Jenks soccer should be proud of their 2020-2021 season!