Thirds Soccer Combines Fury and Fun on the Field


Scout McKibben-Baier ’22

Luke Gardiner ’21 fights for the ball.

Last year, Deerfield and Taft were the only teams to stand between Boys Thirds Soccer and an undefeated season. This year, the team has already defeated both of those teams as part of a 5-1 start.

Boys Thirds Soccer experienced an influx of new upperclass students this season. Scott Lewis ’19, a new Senior on the team, said, “Our team is a very good mix. There are six Seniors, eight Upper Mids, and [many] Preps and Lower Mids. A lot of new students came in this year.” 

Boys Thirds Soccer creates a fun environment for players. Although not as intense as its JV and Varsity counterparts, players are consistently pushed by their coaches and teammates to become better athletes. Players feel supported to perform well without an immense pressure to play perfectly. Lewis said, “The way I define success for Thirds is to have fun. We are competitive, but not super-super competitive. If everyone is having a good time on the team, and [says] ‘I’m really glad I did thirds soccer this year,’ that’s a win for me.”

With no shortage of upperclass students on the team, young players have older mentors to emulate. Each upperclass student contributes to the team significantly in his own way. Some are heavy forwards, others feel more comfortable in defensive roles, and some work off the field to boost morale. While lowerclass students often learn from the Seniors who set good examples, the Seniors follow the command of the Luke Gardiner ’21, Lower Mid co-captain. Gardiner said, “Seniors have been really great leaders by showing the younger kids what it means to be on Thirds soccer.”

Why has the team achieved such success in the past seasons? Notable coaching and heroic managing, has made the team a force to be reckoned with. Co-captain Vincent Wu ’19 said, “Our forwards are speedy, our defenders are stoic, and our midfielders are dynamic. We lost legends and gained legends, but Thirds Soccer will fight for [Hotchkiss] through it all.”

With a mixture of high morale and high-intensity training, the team hopes to continue its winning streak. Mr. Abdoulaye Fall, head coach of Thirds Boys Soccer, said, “One of the main goals for this team is to maintain cohesion and enjoy the moments we play soccer.”