With only six returning starters, Tri-C soccer tryouts may be more important than ever.
Tryouts were held Aug 10th– Aug 15th, with a morning and early evening tryout each day. About 18 young men took the field along with team captain Tevin Williams as Coach Devon Anderson looked on.
Tri-C showed major improvement last season and finished with a record of 6-11-3. Tim McKinney and Coach Devan Anderson won Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively. The Challengers also found a gem, in the form of Williams, who overwhelmed opponents with his blistering offensive pace. After scoring 21 goals, he found himself going from freshman to mentor in only one season.
Williams led soccer drills and exercises to keep his potential teammates in shape and to see how their stamina would hold up on the field. “This league is pretty tough, a lot tougher than they think. We gotta push them to their limits,” said Williams.
Williams’ leadership hasn’t gone unnoticed as Coach Anderson had high praise for his team captain. “He gets involved, he communicates, because he is such a good player the kids automatically gravitate to that side of him. So I think he is going to be an excellent leader,” said Anderson.
Players participating in the tryouts have come from many different places including North Royalton, North Olmstead, St. Edward, Steubenville and even other countries such as Nigeria. One hopeful is relishing the opportunity to improve during tryouts. “Just being here right now is a big accomplishment,” said Jorge Dominguez. Coming from Steubenville, Dominguez looks to take his game to the next level and noticed the intensity of the tryouts immediately. “They push themselves to go further,” he said.
“This is a really hardworking team, everyone wants to win,” said Tri-C hopeful Ian Fox. Dealing with a groin injury he suffered during tryouts, Fox still participated as he tried to earn his spot. He gutted out the last day of tryouts with a noticeable disadvantage, even going against star Tevin Williams in offense vs defense drills.
Coach Anderson, knows exactly what to look for during this crucial selective process. “First thing you want to know is do you have good athletes?” Anderson went on to say he also looks for players that have technical soccer ability. When it comes to evaluating talent, he has taken a different approach this year during tryouts. Instead of taking charge and being on the field at all times with the team, he has often let the second year players and Williams be in charge.
Coach Anderson has often observed from the sidelines, but says it is all part of the strategy. ‘A lot of times players, young players are a little nervous when they have to be in front of the coach. We try to take the coaches a bit off the field, trying to go through the captains and the second year players,” The hope is that that the players will bond and become more of a team without being tense about impressing the coach.
Coach Anderson stressed the importance of the second year players’ role during tryouts. “They have already fought a war, they were here last year,” he said. “They understand the Michigan schools, the Schoolcraft’s, the Jackson’s The Monroe’s, the Cincinnati State’s, they understand what that looks like. It’s critical for them to start interjecting that into the young players.”
Throughout tryouts, players participated in exercises, laps, ball drills and full scrimmages. The intensity increased each day as players became more aggressive and assertive. Each player looking to begin a new chapter in the game they love. Those who have dedicated their week to Tri-C soccer will soon find out if they have what it takes to make the team.