The Sequoyah high school soccer team has had a successful 2022 fall season. With a tie and 2 victories in the vital games against LILA, Waverly, and Mesrobian, the team is going to the championship!
Before the competitive season starts, new players are introduced to the coaches, and returning players come in excited to work with them again. The team has two coaches–Gabe Dahl and Ben Moran–who each focus on different styles of play. Although they often joke about their dissimilar styles of play and coaching, Dahl and Moran have been successfully working together to support each other in coaching the team.
This sport was not an immediate click for Dahl. He “played when [he] was a kid…I didn’t really like it.” Dahl, who attended Sequoyah School when he was younger, found his excitement in soccer when playing there. He noted, “But I did play a lot at Sequoyah [and] it felt more like how I wanted to play when I was a kid. And I felt more like, kind of encouraged and nourished in those games and more comfortable playing with my friends.” It was the Sequoyah soccer experience that got him into playing and eventually coaching soccer. He “played a little bit when I was in college. I went to England and played a little bit. And then I’ve been coaching soccer here at our K-8 for 11 years with Coach Ben. And then last year, we started at the high school.”
The team is host to a wide range of soccer backgrounds. According to Dahl, “We got a nice mix of kids on the team, we have some kids who are playing…at the highest level of club soccer…We have some kids who are very new to the game and are just starting out on their soccer journeys. That’s one of the biggest challenges as a coach…how to make it a meaningful experience for the kids of all different levels while also trying to be a competitive team.” The various experience levels can also be attributed to players who have enjoyed being on the team in previous years wanting to continue to improve their soccer skills. According to Dahl, something encouraging in the mood and community of the team is that “[the team has] almost 30 players on the high school team this year. And I would say like, a good chunk, or from last year, like 10, or 12 players were on the team last year and came back this year. We lost a few kids, seniors last year that graduated. But as far as I can remember, every underclassman who played last year is back with us this year. So that feels pretty good.”
The team’s been successful this season, player Foster Lippsmith ’25 said, in comparison to his time last season: “We’re actually winning…I mean, we kind of won last year, but we kind of fell off at the end. I think this year, we’re just doing better overall.” He also says a significant benefit of being on the team is that “[the coaches are] really supportive. Yeah, in a good way, and they really want to win, too.”
Another player, Atticus Affleck ’25, likes the fact that, on the team, “there’s a lot of community, which is not so much the case in middle school sports because it’s not as high stakes and…I think we’ve all become really close.” He continues, “I think that another benefit that has…come to light is how unified the team is.”
Having fans at the games shows the team a lot of support and can make the environment of play more encouraging and fun. While the team only has a couple of games left this fall season, attending the games would be great and is an excellent way to show your support for the school and team. The fact the team has made it to the championship shows their commitment to each other and the program! The season is incredible to watch and be a part of. The team hopes you can make it to see them play!