Boys Soccer Seniors Use Positive Attitude to Lead Team


Lauren McCollum

Zach Kolker, senior goalkeeper, calls out his plan as Joe Hunter runs towards the center of the field.

Paige Zaruba, Editor

When life gets tough, a big proponent of success is how you respond. For the tough season faced by the Mount Vernon-Lisbon boys’ soccer team, a positive attitude has been crucial.

This season, the soccer team has met a series of challenges: cold and wet weather and a structure of new teammates, leading to the learning curve of a new team makeup.

After losing a series of initial games all strung together, the team continued to focus on positivity to carry them forward, rather than diminishing with frustration. The boys came together to pull out wins at West Delaware, 5-0, and against Maquoketa, 7-0. Joe Hunter, senior, credits the close game against Williamsburg for their new momentum. “After our 3-2 loss in overtime against Williamsburg, we learned that we could play with good soccer teams,” said Hunter, “and we used that momentum into those next two wins.”

Hunter’s mindset that all teams have an equal shot during the postseason is exactly what helps him stay positive when looking forward. “For me, being motivated is pretty easy knowing that everyone has the same shot at making state when the postseason starts.”

After a few tough losses against ranked teams in the beginning of the season, senior goalkeeper Zach Kolker found ways to keep the team’s spirits up. I try to keep everyone motivated by keeping my head up and saying encouraging things from the goal,” said Kolker. “It’s important to remind the team that we’re still in the game even if we’re down.

Kolker is leading the state in saves, with 222 saves and an 84.4% save rate.

“Hunter is a leader by example. He has great work ethic and is responsible for his actions,” said Coach Murray, reflecting on this group of athletes. “Kolker leads the defense in front of him; he is able to see the field and direct players where they need to be.”