With the fall sports regular season coming to a close, Oswego High School sports reflected on numerous wins and losses throughout their year. When looking at the JV boys soccer season’s performance this year, you will be pleased to see their win in the Southwest Prairie Conference. Although they have been doing well in Conference in recent years, this season was still exciting and new to the team.

The JV boys soccer coach, Ed Cann, chalks the team’s win up to the shared common goal of wanting to do all they can to contribute to the team’s success. 

“That goal isn’t just necessarily success winning games: I think winning games comes along with it,” Cann said. “But [it’s] that commitment to shared success, so it’s not just about you as the individual.” 

As the team was still getting to know each other, the games and tournaments early in the season proved to be more difficult than Conference games were, but they learned from it and grew as a team.

“I would have liked to win one of our tournaments that we were in,” JV soccer sophomore captain Cole Richardson said in an email. “Overall I am content with what we have accomplished.”

Success came mostly from shared goals and a drive for more from everyone. 

“One thing I wanted was [for] us to really play as a team, not individuals, and after a couple games, we realized we actually needed to play as a team, and we accomplished a lot when we learned that we needed to do that,” JV soccer sophomore captain Mikey Kroll said.

Along with wanting to come together as a team, another goal for the returning sophomores from last year’s freshman team was to beat Joliet West, since the freshman team lost to Joliet West 0-1 last year. 

“We beat Joliet West 1-0. It was a tough game, we scored late: it was something where the kids could’ve gotten frustrated, but they stayed focused, and that was awesome,” Cann said.

The 2021 JV Boys Soccer team. Image source: Coach Ed Cann

Although this season was more enjoyable than last year’s season that had more involved COVID-19 guidelines, like wearing a mask outside and less player turnout, COVID-19 was still present in the season.

“We had a lot of people go out due to COVID, and I wish that maybe they didn’t have to miss the two weeks because that’s a really long time,” Kroll said. 

However, the team was able to overcome this obstacle and persevered all the way through the season.

“We had some games where we were down guys, but I think the team found ways to pull together even stronger then,” Cann said via email. “When we added those pieces back, they were excited to rejoin the team and even more committed to getting back to work.”

Throughout the season, the team members ensured that they followed protocols so they could safely play as much as possible. 

“The boys were great in following the COVID protocols, like masking on buses and inside, and that really helped us over the course of the season, especially when it came to being ready to perform in our Conference matches,” Cann said via email.

Despite a triumphant outcome, the team still has a goal they want to achieve in the future in order to maintain their success.

“[Hopefully we] win Conference again, and then maybe win another tournament,” JV soccer junior Captain Joey Bacerdo said. 

Inherently, having such a successful year leads the teammates to cherish some of their favorite highlights from the season when looking back on their time. 

“I think beating [Oswego] East was a lot of fun for them: teams like Plainfield North are always hard, so performing against them was fun,” Cann said.

Being the annual Crosstown game, playing Oswego East on Sept. 25 was the season highlight for more than just Coach Cann.

“[My favorite game] I think has to be Crosstown, just because it’s Crosstown,” Bacerdo said.

Other highlights include spending time as a team before and after games, as well as bonding at practices.

“There was a practice where we had gone through a really hard part of our schedule, and we were going to begin our Conference one, and we spent the second half of the practice playing kickball…and it contributed to that team morale,” Cann said. 

Image source: Coach Ed Cann

Bonding as a team is just as important as physical performance in games because it helped the team work together and get to know each other more, while also adding some extra enjoyment to the season.

“Our coach…and everyone else did a really good job of bringing everyone together,” Kroll said. 

When the game schedule was busy, the team still found ways to bond and make the most of their time together.

“Just traveling as a team is pretty fun,” Bacerdo said.

As the team grew together, Coach Cann was able to observe their changes and find the key to their prideful performance.

“Having them there for each other, like this group had, I think that’s key. If you can get them to buy into that super early, I think that is where you sustain that success year after year,” Cann said.

“[O]ur team was like family,” Richardson said via email.

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