-By Natalie Delcorps
The boys soccer team has made huge strides this year. The boys varsity soccer team won the Upstate Eight Conference championship, earning them the second seed in the Bolingbrook sectional. On Oct. 25, Batavia won 3-0 against Neuqua Valley, avenging a loss to Neuqua from earlier in the season. The last time the Batavia High School boys soccer team made sectionals was back in 1993.
With only 32 teams left, the next team to beat will be Benet Academy. Benet Academy and Batavia have their game on Wed., Oct. 29. If Batavia wins this one, that will mean the boys soccer team will have another game on Nov. 1 for the Bolingbrook Sectional title. If they win today, they would play Naperville North, which advanced on Tuesday by beating Naperville Central.
Mark Gianfrancesco, who has been a soccer coach at Batavia High School for 16 years, had some things to say about the team and the season this year.
“It’s gone pretty well. A lot of the senior boys helped to assist the younger kids. They’ve done a nice job incorporating new players and it helped the team.”
Kevin Collins, who is a midfielder for the team, said the team has gone through some bumps, but is better for it.
“Obviously we’ve been doing well,” Collins said. “We’ve won 18 games already. We’ve had a few hiccups when we lost to Naperville North and Neuqua 3-1, but overall it’s been good.I thought we played one of the best games of the year (in the rematch against Neuqua Valley. We played really well.”
According to Coach Gianfrancesco, goal setting throughout the year has been a big part of the team’s success this year.
“We’re always talking about it, reassessing. Did we or did we not meet that goal. We even went back two weeks ago and reassess our goals and see what we need to be focusing on, because at that point we already made conference. At the beginning they get a laminated goal sheet to sign. It gives them a focus on what they need to do at practice. Based on what they need, the effort and focus is driven by them. For a regular season, this season has been really successful. Now we’re in the second season. I think in their mind, the goal that the boys had was winning the regional. Depending on how well we do, we might have to make new goals. ”
There are 18 players on the boy soccer team. A few of the top players on the team include Ian Larson, Collins, Nick Konapaki, and Adam Heinz. Ian Larson and Collins are both captains of the team. Ian Larson is a forward and holds the top score with 27 goals.
“I’m looking forward to getting out there,” Collins said of the Benet game, “and to get into the sectional.”