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Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

GBHS Soccer: Exploring the Hiatus of Freshman Teams

The+GBHS+freshman+soccer+team+poses+together+after+winning+a+game+2-0+against+Del+Oro.%0APhoto+courtesy+of+Arjun+Kumar
The GBHS freshman soccer team poses together after winning a game 2-0 against Del Oro. Photo courtesy of Arjun Kumar

Excitement is in the air as the Granite Bay High School boys’ freshman soccer team prepares to kick off their first season in nearly a decade. While this marks a significant milestone for the boys’ soccer program, it has also sparked questions into the prolonged absence of freshman teams in both the girls’ and boys’ soccer programs.

According to GBHS Athletic Director Tim Healy, our school has a robust history of girls’ soccer success in Northern California. However, this success hasn’t translated into maintaining three soccer teams, leaving a noticeable gap in the freshman ranks.

So why hasn’t the soccer program been able to maintain those three teams? The main challenge is acquiring enough committed players.

“First and foremost, you’ve got to have the level of commitment from 18 to 21 kids in order to actually execute an entire season,” Healy said. “Then you have to have a credible coaching staff. You also have to have the logistics and that means uniforms, equipment, scheduling, there needs to be somebody for you to play.”

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In the past, GBHS struggled to meet these criteria, particularly in finding committed freshman or sophomore players not yet at the JV level. However, this year marked a turning point, with an extraordinary turnout of about 80 underclassmen boys at tryouts, a stark contrast to the girls’ side, which saw around 50 participants.

“This year, it seemed like the number of freshman boys we had begged the question, why wouldn’t we (have a freshman team)?” Healy said. “And so we did.”

This year’s tryouts initially focused on selecting players for the JV and varsity teams, with no expectation of such a high number of underclassmen trying out.

“I did not think I was going to make a team and I was unhappy that there was no freshman team (at the time),” freshman player Arjun Kumar said.

However, a week later, tryouts for the freshman team were introduced to accommodate underclassmen who didn’t make the cut for the upper-level teams.

Healy, recognizing the abundance of committed underclassmen players, was determined to make the freshman team a reality.

“If I see a situation where there’s 18 to 21 additional kids who want to participate, I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen. Because it’s in alignment with what the school is trying to do. Give as many kids a credible opportunity to go do something connected to the school.” Healy said.

The boys’ freshman team recently made its debut, playing a thrilling match against Bella Vista and securing a 5-5 tie. Also, the girls’ JV team showcased their prowess, triumphing over Roseville and Placer High Schools with scores of 3-0, and delivering a resounding 9-0 victory against Casa Roble.

With the successful return of the boys’ freshman team, hopes are high for a sustained presence in the years to come. Additionally, there is anticipation for the eventual inclusion of a girls’ freshman team, marking a promising future for soccer at GBHS.

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About the Contributor
Claire Shea, Staff Writer
Claire Shea is a freshman. This is her first year on the Granite Bay Today staff.

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