All About Apopka Pre-Season Soccer

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. That is no exception, here at Apopka High School, which boasts its own successful teams. Although the season has not started yet, the boys teams are practicing for upcoming games. The Blue and White asked players about their love of the game and its most famous teams and players.

Barcelona Club
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Sebastian Cozzi, a Junior at Apopka High School, says, “My favorite soccer team would be Barcelona. Although they aren’t the best at the moment, since Messi left it has gone downhill, but I’ll always be a fan of what they once were.” Teams rise and fall with time, but the true fans stick with them. Last year, Apopka also won some and lost some, and players tend to remember the worst defeats and the hardest teams. Cozzi plays on Varsity and remembers Windermere specifically, “This year I think that Windermere will be the hardest team to beat, since they have a bunch of Brazilian players that have grown up playing soccer on the streets. Their dribbling is very good and [are] an overall great team.” This year’s soccer team has very few Seniors, and many are wondering if it will affect performance. “I think that this high school season will be harder than last year. Since we lost some good seniors, we now have a team full of mostly Juniors. But it’s coming home,” Sebastian explains. This then means that next year will be very experienced and talented.

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Many play sports to prove they are stronger or that they can overcome certain obstacles. For Steven Novak, a Sophomore at Apopka High School, it is the drive to beat epilepsy, which is a seizure disorder. “What drives me to get better is that I want to prove that my epilepsy isn’t something that can hold me back.” Many hope for such a strong determination, and it shows what our soccer teams are made of. But that’s not all, Steven plays the essential yet overlooked role of  goalie. “The biggest reason I became a goalie is because I idolize so many players that play that position.” Many great goalies have played soccer, and Steven is determined to be like them. Everyone has a favorite team or at least a local team they support and luckily Steven has both. “My favorite teams are Arsenal and Orlando City, because I have season passes to Orlando City.”

Some players are loved by the team for being humble and a team player. That describes Kai West, a Junior at Apopka High School, who says, “My favorite soccer team is Manchester City. With De Bruyne and Haaland, they move the ball efficiently like a well polished club.”

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Manchester City is an amazing club with many huge star players. Manchester City passes quickly, with great finishers like Haaland and Mahrez. Kai plays one of the most important positions on the AHS team, being a key defender. “I play defense because I can defend well and my shooting skills aren’t up to par. I am also a midfielder because I can move the ball efficiently and can make good through balls.” Forwards require shooting skills for finishing, and for that reason, Kai specializes in assisting and defending for his teammates.


Alexander Arnold
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To get to the top, you need a strong attitude and a desire for improvement. Joshua Reyes, a Junior at Apopka High School, plays defense and gives us a tip to become the best at what we do. “My mindset when playing soccer is that I’m the only one who can outdo myself; nobody else can get past me. So being able to stop any attacker becomes like a brick wall.” That mindset is seen in the best players like Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic, and is one of the reasons they are who they have become. When asked about his thoughts on this upcoming season, Joshua hopes they’ll be “way better than last season. We lost two great defenders, but it changes nothing. Standards are always the same so winning is the only option.” Many decide the fate of the season on the batch of Seniors, but sometimes hard work can push through that. Many people’s favorite player is Messi or Ronaldo, and they are both very great players. But Joshua has a different idea of what makes a great player. “Alexander Arnold is my favorite soccer player because his defensive skills are immaculate to me, and his ability to go up to attack, but also his ability to come and defend so quickly, and that makes him my favorite.” The ability to tirelessly support the attack and return to help defend is often unappreciated, but that’s Joshua recognizes the value of those skills.

Apopka’s soccer season is still in pre-season. The JV and Varsity teams have been decided, and the teams are hard at work practicing to improve their skills and to work better as a team.

Varsity Soccer Schedule

We hope to see the stands filled by Blue Darters cheering our teams on to victory.