A farewell to our boys soccer seniors

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The soccer team poses together after winning the title of district champions.

Emelda Forney, Assistant Editor

Although the fall season has been far finished, let’s take a minute to appreciate our senior soccer athletes who just played the final season of their high school soccer careers. 

 

Nick Moran (12) settles the ball to prepare his attack on Maplewood’s goal. (Gabriella Batchen)

 Nicholas Moran has played soccer ever since he could remember, first learning from his father. On the field, he plays center midfield and is a crucial part of moving the ball around. “I have a good technical ability,” comments Moran. “I make the passes for the strikers to score.” He credits his competitive personality for pushing him to be the best, along with the unending support of his friends and family. He has a special place in his heart for the restaurant Robata, which is owned and operated by one of his teammate’s family. “We love going there after games, and it’s probably my favorite memory being on the team,” reminisces Moran. He wants the soccer team to know two important things; that from here on out, it’s “all gas, no breaks” and to “go all out.”

 

 

Andrew Moran (12) takes a kick for the team. (Gabriella Batchen)

Andrew Moran has also played all his life, growing up in a very soccer-oriented family. Learning from his older brothers, he plays center defensive midfield and works with his brother to establish strong midfield dominance. He relies on his work ethic and vision during the game to play his position to the best of his ability. Moran has a passion for the sport, which keeps him going, along with the strong support from his friends and family, pushing him to do his best. He has a lot of good memories with the soccer team, but his all-time favorite was beating Maplewood during their homecoming game. He wants future players to know to keep practicing outside the season and to have fun with the sport. And to the team, Moran comments, “I’m going to miss some of you, others I won’t.”

 

Luca Gould (12) watches the game from the far side of the field. (Gabriella Batchen)

Brentwood’s varsity goalie Luca Gould has been playing soccer since he was four, but he recently tackled the difficult challenge of being the varsity team’s goalie. He learned to play through Veta Sports and believes he gained a lot of skill from playing on a club team the previous year. While playing, Gould has a vision of the whole field and has learned to develop his leadership skills to guide players. Even with the rigor of the goalie position, he enjoys playing and loves the friendships he’s made throughout the years. Senior year has been his favorite season he’s played, and he plans to continue playing soccer in college. Gould wants future Brentwood soccer stars to know, “Socialize with all the players on the team, not just the ones in your grade, and try out for club teams. You can really learn a lot.”

 

Gianni Herdlick (12) fights for the ball in an intense game against Collegiate Bio-Med. (Gabriella Batchen)

 

One of the team’s strikers, Gianni Herdlick, is a force to be reckoned with on the field. With his excellent footwork and experience with the sport, it’s no surprise that Herdlick is the top scorer for the Brentwood soccer team, with twenty-nine goals this season. Herdlick has been playing soccer since he was five years old, which makes sense given that he grew up in the soccer-loving country of Argentina. His technical skill on the field is what he believes makes him such a powerful tool for the Brentwood team. Growing up, he was taught to play soccer by his uncle and takes inspiration from his personal soccer heroes, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. His favorite memory of being on the team was winning districts or going to Robata after winning a game.

 

 

Nicholas Ventimiglia (12) walks the defensive line during a Brentwood game. (Gabriella Batchen)

Nicholas Ventimiglia is one of the center defensemen for the soccer team, making him the leader of the back line on the field. He has been playing soccer for seven years, starting off playing for CYC (Catholic Youth Council) teams. His skills place him in a defensive position, as he works with the rest of the defensemen to keep the ball away from their goal. He started playing for Brentwood freshman year because soccer is his sport, and all his friends were doing it. On the field, Ventimiglia aims to keep a positive mindset. “I’m never really one to give up,” said Ventimiglia. “I play hard the whole way through, even if we aren’t winning.” His favorite memory was winning districts along with the rest of the team. To anyone looking to join the soccer team, Ventimiglia says, “Don’t worry about being good. Try to have fun with it.” And finally, he says, “Thanks for having a great final season.”

Josh Kelley (12) works to keep the ball away from the other team. (Gabriella Batchen)

 

Joshua Kelley has been playing soccer ever since he could walk, learning from “Coach Paul,” who is the father of the Moran twins. And ever since, they have played soccer alongside each other. Kelley plays the right midfielder position and credits his grit and relentlessness for pushing him to do his best. “Every game I have the time of my life,” says Kelley. “I never want the game to end, so I’m going to play until the whistle blows.” Kelley’s favorite memory is winning districts and making it all the way to state. “It’s okay to be nervous,” Kelley notes for future athletes. “That means you care about the game. Have fun and most important, laugh.” Lovingly, Kelley left these words for his team, “Thank you, I love you all.”

 

Sebastian Flores (12) poses with his family on senior night. (Julie Cohen)

Sebastian Flores, much like the other soccer boys, has been involved in soccer nearly all his life. Starting to play when he was five, he learned through the various leagues he was placed in. He plays central defense and has been playing for Brentwood for three years. Flores is motivated by his friends, saying, “I don’t want to let them [my friends] down by not playing well, and I can’t have fun playing if I can’t play well.” He signed up to play because his friends were playing. His favorite memory was when he got to play striker in a couple of games. Flores’ advice to future athletes is, “If you want to get good, take the practices seriously. If you just want to mess around with friends, either be one of the best on the team or expect not to be played in soccer matches.” And to the team, Flores says, “Thanks for giving me memories I can think back on when I’m old.”

Andrew Burlage (12) stands with his family on senior night. (Julie Cohen)

 

Andrew Burlage has only been playing soccer for two years, but that doesn’t mean he has any less love for the sport then the rest of the boys. He plays defensive back on the field and works to upkeep a mentality of “persevering and putting in the work even if you’re losing.” “I am motivated by playing the game,” said Burlage. “I enjoy soccer a lot, and being out there is great.” He credits fellow teammates Luca Gould and Gianni Herdlick for teaching him to play the sport and introducing him to the world of soccer. “You just need to play the game,” said Burlage, “If you go out and play your hardest, that’s all you need to do.” In his final note to the team, Burlage said, “Thank you for having the best season, and even though was new, thank you for having me on the team.”

 

Good luck to all our soccer seniors as they begin the next chapter of their lives. We can expect great things from all of them and wish them great success in their future endeavors. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle!