For Kicks and Giggles

Hayden Claesson, Sports editor

I have always disliked soccer. It was simply never interesting to me. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I wasn’t good at it, or if I just thought it was boring to watch. I just could not understand the hype behind soccer. I didn’t like playing it due to the fact that I am hilariously uncoordinated, and I preferred watching more “American” sports, such as gridiron football and basketball, to the number one sport in the world. All of this added up can probably leave someone confused as to why when the Physics C intramural soccer team asked if I wanted to be on the team, I said yes.

I like to think of intramural soccer at LT like church league basketball. It is so great because the whole purpose of it is to simply have fun. I have been a competitive swimmer and water polo player all throughout high school, and sometimes the stress of trying to perform well and win races and games can overshadow the main purpose of sports: to go out there and enjoy yourself. There is a stark contrast when it comes to intramural soccer. The only other experience I have had with playing soccer has been in gym class and I was (and still am) terrible at soccer. However, when I’m playing intramural soccer, I’m not worried about my performance. I am out there solely to have fun with my friends.

This also means that in order to have fun while playing, everyone has to play. There are frequent breaks for subbing in players, and everyone gets a decent amount of playing time. On Physics C FC we have several varsity soccer players, yet we still make sure that everyone, including me, gets a fair share of action. While this means we won’t be as strong as a team the entire game, everyone has an equal share of time spent on the field, making it more enjoyable to people who aren’t as good at soccer.

Another great thing about intramural soccer is how there is a sense of pride that comes with it. As I have mentioned before I am on the Physics C team, and we feel that we are the physical embodiment of the physics program at LT. At every game we have our superfan, AP Physics teacher Robert Sherman cheering us on, and we walk out to the theme music of The Mechanical Universe, a series of educational physics videos we will watch in class. All of this means that we feel like we have to do well in order to make physics teachers at LT proud. This is something that happens every year, a group of students who want to feel like they are on a real soccer team come together and fulfill that team bond.

Something that I love about intramural soccer is that it is yet another example of how LT offers so many opportunities to their students to be involved and do fun activities. Anyone who can scrape together enough friends to form a team can play: no tryouts, no former experience necessary. In our first game, I didn’t have any soccer equipment, and shin guards are a requirement to play. I had to borrow a right and left shin guard from my teammates Will Salazar ‘19 and Max Finder ‘19, respectively. Intramural soccer is so appealing because although a student’s soccer abilities may not be at a high level, they can still have a great time playing.

I mentioned before that intramural soccer is similar to church league basketball, however the biggest problem with church league is something that intramural soccer has no issues with. In church league there were some issues involving varsity level players opting to not play IHSA basketball and to instead choose to do church league, leading to lopsided teams. In intramural soccer, the season starts after IHSA soccer ends, meaning there is no conflict. Also teams are allowed to have up to three boys’ varsity soccer players, which helps balance the teams and prevent superteams.

All in all, if you were like me and wanted nothing to do with soccer, I implore you to try intramurals. It has made me not only have a greater appreciation for the sport, but also has given me something fun to do with my friends during my final year of high school.