Soccer is a sport that is often unappreciated. It’s more than just kicking a ball. It involves not only complicated skills but general talent with being quick on your feet. There is a certain breed that can successfully play this sport. The Pueblo West High Boys Soccer team was full of a group of young athletes that had such a strong passion for the game. Ashlyn Harris, a FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, said, “There’s no better feeling than stepping out on the field and stunning them all by doing what none of them thought you could do.” This unique team did just that during their 2017 season.
The Pueblo West boys soccer team were deemed the underdogs before the start of the season. After losing 14 seniors, it was a completely new team with many new faces. The starting lineup consisted mainly of returning JV players from the previous year, who were tested to show what they’re capable of.
Pueblo West held the SCL (South Central League) title for five consecutive years; because of the new roster, almost everyone assumed the 2017 season would be the year they lost it. Although, after a shocking turn around season, they became one of two teams (Centennial and Pueblo West) contending for the SCL championship, as well as a spot in the playoffs. They started off the season strong, two wins right off the bat; however, they followed it up with six hard-fought losses, demoralizing the team.
If there was one thing this team has always had, it was heart, and a lot of it. The team had to learn to work together, which was not as easy as it sounds; no one even knew each other’s names in the beginning of the season. The nine new seniors stepped up to the plate and took charge, leading the team, bettering one another each practice. They had team bonding activities after practice as well, creating a special connection that they needed in order to become the amazing team they were known as.
It was a very well rounded team, with a few notable returners including Colby Skrivan, Evan Martin, Cavan Sheehan, Jack Dent, and Steven Cline. Injuries were a season long struggle, and the team could not seem to stay healthy. Cavan Sheehan missed seven games due to several injuries, but returned mid-way through the season. Colby Skrivan, a crucial part of the midfield, was ruled out for the season with a torn ligament; he was a team captain and a very skilled player, so his absence certainly hurt the team.
Despite the challenges the team had to face, Pueblo West had once again managed to overcome anything in their path. They bounced back with a win against their rivals, Pueblo South, after a nail biting 1-0 victory; Sam Parker scored the winning goal. They had played South earlier in the season and came up short with a 3-1 loss; the second game showed how much the team had already improved in such a short amount of time. Later in the season, they beat South once again by a score of 2-1 in an unbelievable game going into overtime. They clenched the victory with a goal coming from Cavan Sheehan, 53 seconds remaining in the game.
The Cyclones seized to amaze when playing Palmer Ridge, who they had lost to the previous year. It was anticipated to be a blowout, but senior striker Cavan Sheehan started the game off with a goal for Pueblo West. The game dragged into double overtime but the two sides couldn’t be separated, and it ended 1-1. Cyclones Coach Young commented, “it was our best game of the season. We went into double overtime. Everyone worked hard and it was a very physical game. The guys played with a lot of heart, it just unfortunately ended in a tie.”
What became known as the biggest game of the season was played against their other Pueblo opponents, Centennial. Earlier in the season the two teams clashed and Centennial came out on top by a score of 3-0. West prepared for this game for weeks by studying the oppositions play style and constantly improving their touch on the ball. They also had to cope with the loss of Colby Skrivan, who they had last time the teams played, and a couple other players with minor injuries that were not able to play at their best. The game was at Centennial’s home field, Dutch Clark, unlike last time when West had home field advantage. Centennial had also been getting ready for the game because the ball movement and talent on the Bulldog side was overwhelming. Unfortunately, Pueblo West was defeated 5-0 in their final game, eliminating them from a playoff spot.
The loss against Centennial was disappointing for the Cyclones. The team walked away knowing they had accomplished far too much to let their heads drop. The season was hard because they started off with an all new roster and new talent to form into a functioning team. The team took everyone by surprise when they swept competitors off their feet. It was a season that will be remembered.