McNamara Players and Coach Not Fans of New Schedule
Andrew Feather ‘13 | Sports Editor
Despite opposition from some coaches, this year the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference has adopted a new schedule for soccer teams. The new schedule has cut the number of conference games in half — nine for boys, eight for girls. In addition the amount of total games allowed has been slashed by five to twenty.
One of the coaches against the schedule change was Bishop McNamara Boys Soccer Coach Mr. Robert Nolte, who believes that the significant cut in conference games will create less parity in the WCAC.
“It’s taking away from the importance of our league championship,” Nolte said about the change. “I think when we create a schedule where teams are permitted to play more out-of-league games than in league games, it takes away from the specialness of winning the WCAC.” About schools who supported the change, Nolte stated, “I think that they’re looking more towards playing programs of equal skill level of themselves rather than kind of thinking more towards winning the WCAC.”
Although Mr. Nolte disagrees with the change, he does see some positives to it. “I think we were playing too many games in our season. When we are playing at least two, sometimes three games per week over the course of two or so months, it puts a lot of wear and tear on an athlete’s body,” Nolte said. This was one of the major factors cited in the case to change the schedule.
An email statement released by then WCAC Soccer Chairman William Simmons read, “Soccer is a sport that is firmly entrenched in the year-round club first mentality. High calibre players are routinely playing 3-5 competitive matches on the weekend for clubs and returning to school to play 2-3 games during the week. This routine, backed up by medical studies, show that soccer players have among the highest injury rates caused by ‘overuse’ of any athlete. They play year round. The elite teams in our league rarely practice on Monday because their players are exhausted from games, traveling nationally sometimes, and need time during the week to recover.”
Many of the players, both boys and girls, don’t like the new schedule. Boys Varsity goalkeeper Tarik Endale ‘12 said, “I liked the old schedule better. There are no second chances against teams now, and I like having more games to play.” Mike Andreozzi ‘12 and Stephen Czecha ‘12 both reiterated what Endale said, complaining about having less games when they really just want to play soccer.
On the women’s side of the ball Cathy Anderson ‘12 said “I haven’t liked it because it made the season feel really short,” and goalkeeper Sara Cavanaugh ‘13 said “It’s not as fun for players because we don’t play as many games and we only get one shot at each team.”
Disappointed with the new schedule or not, the players attitudes won’t change. “It doesn’t matter how many times we play a team,” said Cameron Turner ‘13. “We are going to go out there and play our best no matter who the opponent is.”