Athletics have always been an important aspect of high school, as they help students meet new people, develop teamwork and leadership skills, give students a break from the classroom, and give them something to look forward to each day. Although Millbrook is home to a plethora of different programs and athletes, there are some who participate for other teams outside of the school. One of these programs is the Winchester Soccer Academy, a local organization that trains and supports the Winchester United Soccer Team.
Darin Douglas, a sophomore, has played soccer since he was six years old and began playing for Winchester United soccer at the age of ten. His current position on the team is center-mid or outside-mid, but he has changed positions quite frequently while on the team. “I’ve moved around various times, defense, striker, everywhere really,” he explained, “but my favorite position has to be either center-mid or striker.” Besides soccer, Douglas is also a participant in Inline Hockey, a winter sport held at the Body Renew Fitness Center in Kernstown, but as of right now his focus remains on the field rather than the rink.
Fellow student and teammate Zachary Hicks, also a sophomore, began his career in soccer at around five years old, and like Douglas, was introduced into the Winchester United team when he was ten. He currently plays as a defender for the team, and has not changed since joining the roster, so he has much experience in the role he currently plays. Like Douglas, Hicks also participates in a winter sport, but unlike his teammate, he is a member of a Millbrook team. “Other than soccer, I also compete for the Millbrook swim team,” Hicks stated.
The soccer team that the two athletes play for will be heading to Raleigh, North Carolina to compete in a college tournament. With college recruiters prowling around the field, the boys and the rest of the team are not only hoping to win, but to also catch the attention of a couple recruiters. “It’ll be a new experience for sure,” Douglas said. “There are teams coming from everywhere, so it’ll be a good challenge for us.” Hicks seemed to have the same thoughts as his fellow teammate. “It’s going to be a lot of fun, hopefully I play well and the team plays well,” he stated.
The boys are no strangers to these sort of tournaments, as they have competed in multiple others in the past. “We’ve done a bunch of other tournaments, lots of second place finishes,” Hicks said. He hopes that this will change after they compete in Raleigh. The tournament is scheduled near the end of November, lasting a total of three days, and both boys are excited and ready to hit the field and compete.