Poised for the Playoffs

Abigail Wharton, Staff Writer

Our boys’ soccer team was defeated in the semi-finals of last year’s state tournament. The disappointing loss sparked one thing in the boys’ hearts: a desire for redemption. 

This year’s team, comprised of captains Tyler Hannon ‘22, Wilmont Manneh ‘22, and TJ Strang ‘22, started the season on a winning streak with 11 wins and 0 losses. Their streak ended with a battle at home against Hoover High School.

Collin Shermer ‘22 says, “I think it was a good reality check… We just went out there and tried to play a lot of good soccer, and it just didn’t fall our way.”

The game concluded after two extra times and 16 penalty kicks. Logan Becker ‘22, who took the sixth kick, says, “You just have to have a lot of confidence, but it’s definitely a lot of pressure.”

Hannon, however, missed his kick. He says, “It kinda sucked because I’m usually the one that stays after practice trying to put in extra reps to make sure that it’s not me that misses the kick, so it kind of makes it extra painful when your teammates rely on you to make that kick and you miss it.” He believes the loss took the pressure of a perfect season off of the team.

The athletes followed up the loss with a win against their long-time rival, the Urbandale J-Hawks. Hannon says, “We just needed that rivalry, that kind of spark that kind of ignited the flame, and hopefully we can ride that momentum to the end of the season.” The boys have their hearts set on winning the state championship, and this disappointing loss did nothing but add fuel to the fire.

Their ambitions will not stop when the season is over. Becker will be attending Iowa State to study computer science and would like to continue to play soccer recreationally. Shermer will also be attending Iowa State University to study aerospace engineering. Hannon will attend the University of Wisconsin Platteville to play soccer and major in mechanical engineering. He has been playing soccer since he was five years old and says it is a great way to stay in shape, make friends, and have fun. Hannon and his teammates have accomplished more than an outstanding season, they have helped inspire a future generation to carry on the legacy of Johnston soccer.