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Above: Jake Joseph, and Joseph Rosa-Diniz pose for a picture on the cabin balcony at the retreat


Boys Soccer Retreat a Smashing Success 11/19

The boys varsity soccer team returned from a whirlwind weekend on Sunday.  It started Friday with a scrimmage at home against Piedmont Hills high school.  The game went well, and the VC coaches were able to get the evaluations that they needed.

“We had a decent performance against Piedmont Hills, but that game also served as a reminder that there is still a lot of work to do before we’re ready for the season.  Our shape was poor, and in general the attitude was a little more relaxed then I would’ve liked.” Coach John Basanese said.

“Jake Joseph had a great goal on a free kick, and we really should’ve finished a few others.  Lots to do yet, but we saw some bright spots,” Basanese concluded.

The next morning, the team met bright and early to head out for the weekend.  The team got into the vans, and headed to Skyline college for the WCAL Jamboree.  Arriving early, the team was able to stretch their legs, and prepare for their first game against Archbishop Riordan.

The Warriors came out strong against a re-vamped Riordan team.

“It was a great way to start the day, we were able to put 4 goals away.  Riordan played well I thought.  They have a new coach this year who’s doing a great job with those kids.  They’ll be a legitimate challenge for us this season.”  Basanese said.

The game would end 4-0, with three goals by Alex de Leon and a fourth by Trevor Plug.

The interesting thing about all three games was the fog.  Notice in the pictures, there is a really thick fog.  Coach Donny Fugate had this to say about the challenge the fog presented.

“It was difficult to really assess the game because we couldn’t see.  At one point, Riordan was awarded a PK, and nobody on the bench even knew because we couldn’t see.  It wasn’t until Danny saved the PK that we knew what had happened.”

After the Jamboree, the team got back into the VC vans, and headed for the Santa Cruz mountains.  A few flying sandwiches, and a brilliant shortcut later, the team arrived.  The players carried their bags to the cabins to shower up.  The cabins were separated by position, Fugate had the defenders, McIntire the forwards, and Basanese took the mids. 

Once everyone was cleaned up, the team met to deconstruct the Jamboree.  A list of positives and negatives were made, and both lists were discussed.  Once that meeting was over, the Jamboree was in the past. 

Next on the agenda was some ping pong, air hockey, and pool before dinner.  By the time that dinner rolled around, the team had worked up quite the appetite.  The Mt. Hermon staff served a very good steak dinner, and the hunger was satisfied.

After dinner, the team began a series of meetings beginning with a special appearance by Mr. Joe Nettemeyer who spoke on personal discipline, and team unity.  Joe put the kids through an exercise where they wrote what they wanted to improve on, on 3x5 cards.  The speech was inspiring to all the players.

Sophomore defender Kyle Grayson had this to say when discussing his favorite moments from the trip. 

“I really appreciated Mr. Nettemeyer’s words, that was very inspiring to me.”

After Mr. Nettemeyer spoke the captains met with the team to discuss team goals. 

The goals were as follows:

-          Give 100% effort

-          Qualify for the CCS playoffs

-          Give everything on and off the field.

Afterwards, the team discussed the team’s slogan:  Warriors, Family, Everything.  They worked on defining what each item means to them.  For Basanese, this was a big turning point for the team.

“Every year, this is a really important discussion.  This year, I really felt like the kids were engaged in defining what it is that we stand for.  What does it mean to represent Valley Christian?  What does it mean to be a family?  What does it mean to give everything?  As a coach, it made me very proud.”

With 4 hours of meetings and prayer out of the way, it was time for fun. 

The lighted tennis courts served as perfect soccer tennis courts, and eventually two indoor soccer fields (with mini goals).  Four teams were formed, and the games began.  The competition was fierce and fun, but at the end, the champions were Kevin Tarangioli, Jeff Mueller, Joseph Rosa-Diniz, and Coach Basanese.  It’s important to note that they were the only team with 4 players instead of five…

At midnight, it was time for pizza!  Basanese and Fugate cooked up a few pizzas for the midnight snack, and sent the kids off to the cabins.

Once in the cabins, the kids bonded in the annual affirmation time affectionately known as the ‘Circle of love.’ 

“The kids love each other, and we love our kids.  The circle of love is a chance for us to tell each other, without feeling stupid or awkward.  It’s a good moment, and something we treasure in our program,” Coach Fugate said.

Around 2am, it was time for bed. 

The next morning, the team shared a breakfast in the cafeteria.  The kids had pancakes, yogurt, Lucky Charms, and sausage.

After breakfast it was off to church as a team at Venture church at Los Gatos Christian, and then back to the school. 

The trip was a resounding success, and the coaching staff now feels that the team is ready for the season.

“Honestly, I never would’ve guessed that this retreat could’ve been this successful.  The school was so supportive in allowing us to take this trip.  We accomplished every single thing that we set out to do.  God took care of us in every single way.  We arrived to each stop in the retreat right on time, our safety was perfect, and the kids had a great time.  This weekend was a blessing to us coaches, and hopefully to the kids as well,”  Basanese concluded.

Needless to say, this is the beginning of a great VC Soccer tradition!

Retreat Photos here