By: Sasha Nieves
For three years, Jason Ross (11) has been the goalie of the AHS Varsity Blue Bombardiers Soccer team. To him, soccer is not just a sport, but a way of life and has been for the past 11 years.
Ross reasons that soccer is his favorite sport because “There’s not a lot of breaks in it, it’s an ongoing game and it takes all types of athletic ability. It’s not just running, you have to be an overall athlete.” Soccer he believes is a sport that not only takes endurance, but also skill for passing, and shooting on goal.
Ross believes that agility, stamina and good hand-eye coordination are the skills that make him a great goalie, and he has the achievements to prove it. During his sophomore year Ross won team MVP because of his daring saves and leadership throughout the season.
His achievements also include attending a number of competitive camps during the summer of 2013, such as The American University Soccer Program in Washington, D.C and the Colgate Camp in Hamilton, New York.
Since the age of eight Ross has also attended Camp Manitou, a soccer and volleyball camp located in Oakland, Maine which focuses on improving a player’s mental and physical skills. This camp is run by the Boys Varsity Soccer Coach and head of AHS Foreign Language Department, Mr. Peter Pereira.
Pereira trusts Ross as a goalie and said, “He has eight shutouts [this season], which is not bad at all.”
For his own self-improvement, Ross commits 100 percent to becoming a better player, and even recognizes his weak spots. His plans for the season are to work “more on my areas that need improvement, such as my goal kicks.”
Ross has a positive outlook on the season and said, “We have a strong team, we can play soccer with any team in the league, it all depends on how hard we work.” His main goal for the season is “to win the league and get as far in the state championship as we can.”
In late Sept., the team received a potentially crushing blow when they were told they would have to forfeit the first half of the season, their four wins and two ties, after it was found they had been using an ineligible player.
According to Ross, “Someone made a mistake and missed the fact that one of our players was over age and needed a waiver, now all our wins mean nothing. We were undefeated in the Hockomock League, and now we can’t lose any more games or our season is over.”
This unfortunate event cost the team their first place rank in the league.
The only chance the team has to still make it into States is if they win every remaining game of the season, making things that much harder and putting even more pressure on Ross, as the goalie, to not make any mistakes. For all members of the team, especially the seniors, this has become a motivation unlike any other.
The last game against Attleboro’s main rival, the North Attleboro Red Rocketeers, the team tied with a score of 0-0, giving them the chance to continue in the race towards victory.
If offered the chance, Ross said he wouldn’t play any other sport because soccer means more than just a game of kick and pass for him and his team. The team members are putting in every effort to prove everyone wrong and still bring home that state cup.
Note: The Bombardiers were eliminated from the tournament after falling to #14 Braintree 2-0 on Nov. 1.