Boys soccer returns, establishes success

Team prepares for playoffs, successful start to season


Fisher Daniels ’22 and Dom Panopoulos ’22 fight against Boylan Catholic High School during Sept. 12 game (Simek/LION).

Elle Simek, Reporter

As the school year begins, so does the start of a fan favorite sport. Since soccer is an outdoor sport, there are less COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re not wearing masks during games and practices, which gives us a little more freedom on the field,” varsity head coach Paul Labbato said.

 With the start of boys soccer, all team members share a common goal of going to state. 

“Ultimately, I think everyone hopes that we can make a run for the state championship,” goalie Luke Stockbrige ‘22 said. “But, day to day we just want to compete in every game and win.”

The team has a record of 6-1, which puts the pressure on their upcoming game against LT’s rival, Hinsdale Central on Sept. 21. 

“We are going into practice with a must win attitude, so we don’t have to leave anything up to chance,” captain and defender Jackson Sullivan ‘22 said. “This is a must-win game for us, so we are counting down the days and training hard everyday.” 

With a longer season and fewer restrictions than last year, the team is able to compete in other games outside its conference. One of these was the PepsiCo showdown from Sept. 11 to Sept. 12, which is one of the biggest tournaments in the country. The team ended the weekend with a record of 1-1 with a win against Metea Valley with a score of 1-0 and a loss against Boylan (Rockford) with a score of 0-1. With a long season ahead of them, the boys need to build up strong connections with one another. Pasta parties are a favorite activity outside of practices and games to strengthen the team’s bond, Stockbridge said. 

“I would describe the team dynamic as improving and growing,” Sullivan said. “With more time together, everyone gets more acquainted with each other and treats each other more like friends and brothers than strangers.” 

Not only has the team been working hard during practices and games after the school day, but they also held some practices over the summer. 

“They’ve been working hard all summer, starting to build that chemistry early on,which carries forward into the new season,” Labbato said.