Spotlight: Soccer Players

Brady Blaylock, Managing Editor of Videography

          They wipe the sweat from their brows and try to catch their breath for a moment. Suddenly, the black-and-white soccer ball rushes toward them. They rush for it and kick it toward their teammates. A goal is scored and everyone rushes to the middle of the field. The celebration ends and it’s back to work. Seniors Ozzie Saavedra, Ruan Santos, Bethany Routt, and junior Emma Bosworth put their game faces back on and prepare for the next kick.

          With the end of the regular soccer season coming up, Saavedra, Santos, Routt, and Bosworth are putting in as much as they can to make it far in the playoffs this year. The second round of the playoffs begins tonight.

             “The team would be different without them,” Cody Bray, girls varsity soccer coach said. We would lose a lot of speed. We would lose a lot of our play making ability.”

          Saavedra plays offense in center mid, and has been on the varsity soccer team all four years of his high school career. He currently plans on going into welding after high school. 

          “Ozzie Saavedra is one of the best players I have ever coached,” Jason Lawless, boys varsity soccer coach said. “He has led the team in goals, he creates for us, and he demands double teams, not one defender can defend him by himself.”

          He has been playing soccer since he was ten years old when he lived in Chicago where one of his friends convinced him to play with him, which drove him to start practicing. Before this, he was involved in boxing.

          “You have got to have quick feet and know how to control the ball to be able to get around,” Saavedra said. “I was very surprised to get the gold ball at bi-district, because I never thought I would be able to make this kind of accomplishment.”

          Santos plays defense in center back on the varsity boys soccer team. He plays with a very aggressive and vocal type of play style while out on the field.

          “I am very nervous, happy, and anxious for the playoffs and there is a lot going through my head,” Santos said. “I love being able to be with my friends while doing what I love. Sometimes you are going to stress out, but all that matters is having fun.”

         He has been playing ‘futsal’ or indoor soccer most of his life, which was a big part of Brazillan culture. He started playing American-style soccer his junior year when he moved here. While he plans on possibly going into college for soccer, he has also considered pursuing engineering.

          “I have to control a lot of what is going on in the game, and I talk a lot throughout the game to communicate as much as possible, ” Santos said.  “When I first tried out for the team here, I was very nervous because I did not play much soccer before. The competitiveness from here and Brazil is very different.”

         Bosworth plays offense on attacking midfield on the varsity girls soccer team, and has been playing on the team all of high school. Her role consists of creating the opportunities to score and finding open passes.

        “Emma’s playing style is being a dominant player,” Bray said. “She has the physical tools to carry the ball up the field and not get it taken away from her. She also has this skill to create her own shot and create shots for her teammates.”

         She has been playing soccer since she was four years old with the determination to practice ever since, and plans on playing soccer when she goes to college. Additionally, she has also participated in a Tyler rec team and club soccer.

         “I was so surprised when we got the gold ball, and it was a feeling I have never had before since Lindale has not done that since I have been here,” Bosworth said. “It felt unreal, and I think if we work together and work hard we will be really good.”

          Routt plays offense in wing and sometimes outside forward on the varsity girls soccer team. Most of her scoring consists of assisted goals due to the nature of her role from running around to help the team find opportunities to score.

          “I am excited for the playoffs, because we get to do this my senior year and have never done this before out of all of my four years of being in this program,” Routt said. “Working hard is something I personally hold a lot of value for.”

         She began soccer at a young age at the Lindale Soccer Association until junior high, and then played all four years in high school. Tyler Junior College and Central Baptist University have given her offers to play soccer, and Central Baptist University and Park University have also offered for her to be on the track team.

          “It is exhausting but every minute of it is just so much fun,” Routt said. “This year has been like everything I ever wanted it to be and more. I am really excited to see what we do in the playoffs.”