The Soccer Teams Hit the Field

Luke Chipley

More stories from Luke Chipley


Sydney Swanson

On Saturday, Oct. 23, the soccer teams got up early to head to Soccer Park to help out special needs soccer players learn the game of soccer.

Recently, the soccer teams participated in a fun and beneficial event at Soccer Park with the kids that are a part of the SPENSA Organization, (Special Needs Soccer Association), which is a nonprofit soccer program for young people with disabilities.

This organization emphasizes helping special needs children learn to play soccer with their peers. It is an activity where the teachers and the learners can all have lots of fun playing soccer together.

The boys at the soccer field had very positive experiences at the event, and they felt like they really connected with the players and helped them out.

“It felt good to teach them how to play soccer and have fun,” Aidan Vandegriffe (‘24) said.

Aidan Vandegriffe (’24) and Jonah Shoemaker (’24) get to bounce a soccer ball around with their players. (Sydney Swanson)

Austin Hughes (‘25) made a good connection with his player and felt like it was beneficial for all involved.

“It was a fun and sweet thing for all of us to do,” Hughes said.

Brady Tebow (’25) and Austin Hughes (’25) prepare their player with some warm-up activities. (Sydney Swanson)

The special needs kids had a lot of fun on the field, with players encouraging them to participate in their games in activities. They learned how to play offensive and defensive, and practiced kicking and playing as a goalkeeper.

“I think it was definitely cool to get to know the kids, teach the kids how to shoot the ball and run with the ball, and even getting to know their family a little bit,” Brayden Harris (’23) said.

Sebastian Jungst (’25) and Brayden Harris (’23) encourage their participant to get involved with the soccer game. (Sydney Swanson)

Although the teams did not know what to expect on their bus ride to Soccer Park, the team loved teaching the kids soccer.

Andrew Robinson (’23) also had fun working with the special needs kids. He got to be a goalkeeper for one of the big games and purposely missed a lot of shots to encourage the teams.

“It was fun to be able to help them learn soccer,” Robinson said.

Andrew Robinson (’23) takes a shot at playing goalkeeper at Soccer Park, while teaching the participants how to play defense. (Sydney Swanson)

One soccer player named Zach Frecks (‘24) thought that it was beneficial for them and himself.

“It was something different to do, and it made me happy to be out there with them,” Zach said. “It helped with my patience, and helped me understand what these kids go through.”

Zach Frecks (’24) helped out two of the soccer players with their soccer skills. (Sydney Swanson)

Caden Hof (’23) and Parker Trigg (’24) had a blast with their player, Liam. He made them laugh several times and was heard many times stating that he was a better soccer player than both of them.

Parker Trigg (’24) is challenged by his player Liam to get lifted up, while Caden Hof (’23) joins in to help. (Sydney Swanson)
Caden Hof (’23) gets a high five from his player, Liam. (Sydney Swanson)

Overall, the boy’s team for soccer and the special needs kids had an amazing time at the event, whether they were practicing defensive strategies, or kicking the ball into the goal.