New Soccer Team Makes Strong First Impression

Soccer, football, or whatever name you know it by, you still know it. Soccer is a major sport played and celebrated globally. This is the first year Northwood has an elite, year-round soccer program.

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The varsity soccer team recently attended a friendly match between Brazil and the USMNT at Met Life Stadium. (Photo: Black Rock FC)

In the past, soccer at Northwood was a secondary sport that was used for cross training and brought together students who normally play different sports.

This year’s soccer team benefits the Northwood community in a different way: our community has become more diverse. Freshman Aiden Williams-McCracken said, “Obviously there was diversity before [the soccer players] came, but I feel like we have definitely helped to increase it.” Brad D’Arco, the Director of Admission, agreed: “The soccer program’s been phenomenal…in terms of [increasing] the diversity of the school.”

Students have noted a change in culture with the introduction of the soccer teams. “Northwood has become a friendlier place. Less judgemental, less critical,” said Braelyn Tebo ‘20. Students haven’t been the only ones to notice these changes. Mr. Gino Riffle, the Dean of Students and Athletic Director, commented, “The boys seem to be very involved in the community from early on. They seem to be very nice young men. Time will tell how everything will work out, but I think [this school year] started out very well.”

Mr. Kelvin Martinez, the Dean of Multicultural Affairs, a soccer coach, and a Spanish teacher said, “We want [the new soccer players] to be good citizens of this community and of Lake Placid. We want them to represent themselves, and their families, and the soccer program well.”

The new soccer players feel like they have received a warm, and somewhat surprising, welcome. Senior Iñaki Rodriguez ‘19 said, “I didn’t think it was going to be this good, but everyone here seems to be really supportive of our sport and really friendly to [new people].” Connor DeAngelis ‘22 said, “Everyone welcomed us when we came, and it just felt like we’ve been here for a while.”

Overall, responses to the addition of soccer teams to the community have been positive. Many new faces make up a wonderful group of students whom we all enjoy having at Northwood. However, there have been some concerns as well. Weston Batt ‘19 said, “I think it’s a little strange to have a soccer team in upstate New York, but I don’t know. I guess we’ll see what happens.” Some girls also worry that this will throw off the gender balance in school because not only is there no girls’ soccer team of equal status as the new boys’ team, but also the girl-to-boy ratio is off-balance.

But that’s a topic for another time.

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