Parsons students create new opportunity for soccer players by starting the high school’s first soccer team


PARSONS, Kan. — It’s often said that if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

That’s exactly what students at Parsons High School did in order to establish the school’s first ever soccer team. It’s an opportunity that young soccer players in the community were in need of.

“Soccer’s been my favorite sport ever since kindergarten,” said senior center forward Ethan Wheat. “I’ve played it all my life and to have a team at Parsons is just really exciting. I wish I could’ve played all four years, but one’s better than none.”

The seed of having a high school team was planted about five years ago by a couple of foreign exchange students.

Social Science teacher and now head soccer coach Caleb Reid noticed that both students were homesick and he wanted to find some sort of remedy.

“So, I asked them kind of what would break that cycle in their mind and one of them decided that it was going to be soccer,” said Reid. “So, I went to Walmart and got a soccer ball and we came out here to this very spot and played and from there, it just kind of grew in attention. Those kids talked to other kids and the next thing within a year, those foreign exchange students started a soccer club that started to incorporate the community kids.”

From there, interest in the sport grew even more to the point where the students decided to take things to the next level and establish the first ever Parsons High School soccer team.

“We had to speak at meetings to try getting our soccer team,” said senior center back Nathalia Ortiz. “We were really just trying to get teachers to get involved like Reid to help us. He was a big support.”

The students succeeded and created an opportunity for current and future players to play the sport they love as a Parsons Viking. They even had enough players for a varsity and junior varsity team.

When asked what he was most looking forward to junior center forward Leo Ortiz said “To make my dream come true and work hard to win games, getting to know each other well and enjoying that we have a team here.”

Much like soccer itself, this team brings students from all different backgrounds together, all bound by their passion for the sport.

“The people who play soccer are the same,” said junior forward Frantisek Pavlovsky. “They respect each other. They support each other. There’s so much energy in it and you can be whoever you want to be.”

The Vikings lost their season opener against Independence on the road on Thursday. They’ll be back in action on Monday, September 14 against Baldwin. Their first home game will be on Monday, September 21 against Wichita.

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