Boys Varsity Soccer

Treyvon Guidry & Matthew Salazar & Fernando Olivarez, Reporter

The sport of soccer has been around for 2,000 years, going way back to ancient times in China and some say it started all the way back in Greece and Rome. In some countries in Europe, South America and Africa call the sport “football”, but many people in the U.S. may mistake that term as tackle football. This worldwide game has always been a popular sport at West High, where people from different cultures play together and work as a team.

Lorenzo Galli is senior varsity soccer player who is a foreign exchange student from Italy and playing his first year of soccer here at West. His position on the field is a defender, but when his opponents are attacking he is usually a center back. Before playing a game, he listens to music and is very focused on himself, on how he’s going to play.

When it comes to thinking about your opponents many would say that they’re not worth it, that they’re “trash”, but Galli has a different perspective, as he respects his opponents no matter what. “My opponents are challenging. I respect them; when I’m on the field I don’t care who’s my opponent I just play and do my own,” he says.

Galli admires fellow teammate Jack Green. “He’s really dedicated to soccer; he’s really focused on the game, really cares about it. For example, if we lose after the game you can tell he’s sad because he’s really into it, so should I and all the others on the team.” Professional Argentinian soccer player Javier Zanetti has always been an inspiration in Galli’s life to work hard and keep on playing soccer.

Kyle Saelee is an 18-year-old senior who is on the varsity boy’s soccer team. His position on the team is a striker. Before playing in a game he likes to relax by listening to some music and eating something light, but he mainly likes being left alone before any games. Saelee’s thoughts on his opponents are, “[I see] them just like a challenge you know, as an obstacle try to get through them, try to play better than them.

Saelee is a multi-sport athlete and plays hockey in the winter. He finds it difficult to avoid being carded in soccer due to the roughness he brings from playing hockey. Team pride has always been an important part of the sport for Saelee. “Our team pride is pretty up there, we all get pretty hyped up when someone scores or does something cool,” Saelee says.

Kaleb Kuehn is one of the Special Education teachers here at West and is the assistant boy’s varsity soccer coach. Kuehn has been coaching at West for the last eight years. He started assistant coaching when he was 14 years old. As he got older he got more invested into coaching, helping out some competitive teams and then coaching for West.

When asked if he likes working with high schoolers and seeing them develop and improve their skills, Kuehn says, “I enjoy working with the high schoolers. You get to see a lot of improvement and a lot of changes throughout the years.” The main goal for the team this year is to qualify for state this year as only the top four teams make it out of the Cook Inlet Conference. They are also working to get a solid striker, and well-rounded players, since most of the longtime strikers graduated last year.