ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Stand up.
Get knocked down? Stand up.
That’s the Northeast Excessive soccer manner. These gamers get knocked down rather a lot. And so they’ve perfected the artwork of getting up. Covid-19’s the most recent stumbling block pushing these Vikings round.
“We will deal with adversity, particularly right here at Northeast as a result of it’s occurred rather a lot,” senior lineman Ethan Glenn stated.
The pandemic’s offered quite a few challenges simply to area a crew week in and week out. Northeast has battled a rash of accidents, together with a number of damaged legs, making this most inconceivable season almost unattainable.
“In case you sit again at how a crew seemed Week 7 final 12 months and the way a crew appears Week 7 this 12 months, it’s like evening and day,” head coach Jeremy Frioud stated.
However they rise up. It’s a phrase Frioud says typically. It’s what he repeatedly heard in his head final 12 months when tragedy struck his crew.
“Hardest factor I’ve ever needed to do,” Frioud stated. “Nonetheless is.”
It’s been a 12 months since Northeast misplaced a member of their household. However the tears circulate simply as laborious because the day it occurred.
Jacquez Welch was a Northeast captain, enjoying in a sport in opposition to Osceola when he went down. And he by no means obtained again up. A uncommon mind situation that would have struck him lifeless at any time, anyplace, struck him on the soccer area. It was a second his teammates will always remember.
“I’m enjoying each sport like its my final,” senior fullback/linebacker Luke Compton stated.
Jacquez is in all places at Northeast. He’s on the stadium wall. He’s on t-shirts. He’s on Coach Frioud’s leg.
“That was his second to final play,” Frioud stated pointing to the tattoo on his leg. “That was his landing that he scored the play earlier than he went down.”
He might not bodily be on the sphere together with his teammates, however Jacquez continues to be contributing to this soccer crew.
“His spirit is right here,” Compton stated. “His vitality and his, like, positivity and like his mentality is simply residing inside us.”
In every single place the Vikings go, slightly piece of Jacquez goes with them, proper inside Coach Frioud’s pocket. That’s the place he retains the previous Northeast captain’s mouthpiece. It’s one of many some ways Frioud’s coped. Simply what he taught his gamers to do – to go on.
“We obtained a coach who believes in us,” Glenn stated. “A coach who believes in this system. All of us look after one another. And we simply love one another. “
“Collectively, we simply did it collectively,” Compton stated. “We obtained via it daily. It was tough, however simply with sticking collectively.”
That’s what soccer teaches them. It’s a real brotherhood made up of gamers from a wide range of numerous backgrounds who bond collectively to play a sport they love.
“You must rely in your teammates in soccer, extra so than some other sport,” Frioud stated.
They realized that lesson final 12 months and are carrying it over to this season. With slightly assist from their former teammate.
“We’ve been attempting to maintain the Welch mentality and battle till the very finish and be sturdy,” Compton stated.
Stand up. It’s what you do for those who’re a Northeast Viking. Get knocked down, get proper again up.
“I need them to listen to my voice when life is basically beating you up and the simple factor to do is keep down,” Frioud stated. “I need them to listen to me inform them to rise up. You rise up. And so long as you rise up, you’ll be OK.”