They’ve overcome amazing odds, both as individuals and as a team this season. In it’s 5th year, the team is on their way to play in Class 1A sectionals at Warrensburg-Latham school on Saturday, October 22, 2011.
This is their first sectional championship competition and they enter it with a 14-7 record.
The team has overcome supersized odds this season, the biggest of which being the scandal of senior Chino Ayala. He was penalized earlier this year for breaking IHSA rules stating he cannot play soccer for another team during the season. Caught by an opposing team’s coach on video Ayala’s punishment for playing in a Quad Cities men’s league was, of course, a kick in the gut for the whole team.
Despite his suspension of games during the remainder of regular season play and low morale, the team continued to score goals and win games.
And that’s just the beginning. The team also faces on a regular basis a language barrier and a lack of community and district support. They have no field to practice on, they’ve lost coaching staff to budget cuts and they have an embarrassingly low fan base. On many away games it’s near impossible to spot a single fan that has traveled in support of their team. Getting any media, even local attention, is near impossible.
This team is an amazing group of kids. Their coach is an unbelievably committed individual. These kids, some of whom never considered studying, now strive to remain academically eligible and it’s amazing to witness the bridges that are being built between parents despite cultural and language differences. Administration admits the development of a soccer program has been the best thing for some students who were more than likely on a path to become a dropout statistic.
This team, whether they win sectional or not, deserves to have their story told. I hope you will help spread the word. It’s amazing how far heart and determination will get you. The Monmouth-Roseville varsity soccer team is a living example.
Thank you for letting me share about them.
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Coach Aaron Sikorski