Isabella Weiss

Theatre sophomore Xavier Zambrano pops the ball into the air with a swift kick as foreign language teacher and boys’ soccer coach Thomas Ruth watches the player’s technique.With both a new coach and new players, the boys’ soccer team has been preparing diligently for the season. Their first game is Monday, Nov. 12, at Palm Beach Lakes High School at 8 p.m.

Foreign language teacher Thomas Ruth will be filling the shoes of former staff member Javier Mora as the boys’ soccer team coach for the 2018-2019 season. As games approach quickly, Mr. Ruth is assessing the boys’ skill levels, readying them for this year’s opponents.

Taking over the team came naturally to Mr. Ruth. Having previously coached the team, Mr. Mora set a strong foundation for returning players from the previous soccer season.

“[Mr. Mora] did a great job by being a creative coach,” Mr. Ruth said. “I hope to build on his success and fun instilled in this team [last year].”

Obligations to various commitments is one similarity between most students, whether that be participating in a club, being on a sports team, doing work for an art area, or commitment to academics. Mr.Ruth is aware of this and will consider it this season.

“Soccer does have its challenges at Dreyfoos,” Mr. Ruth said. “Small facilities [and] conflicts with the arts take players’ focuses away from the game.”  

These challenges have made predicting the outcome of the future season somewhat uncertain for the boys’ soccer team. In order to prepare for the upcoming season, Mr. Ruth challenges the team with specific drills to prepare them for the physical demands that being on a varsity soccer team entails.

“We condition hard for endurance and strength,” Mr. Ruth said. “[The boys do] lots of sprints and push-ups for power.”

As soon as the boys were allowed to begin practice, Mr. Ruth began incorporating new techniques into their daily practices.

“We’ve practiced nearly every day since mid-September,” Mr. Ruth said. “I like practices to be varied and the drills to be a mixture of fun, functionality, and fitness.”

While reflecting back on last year’s season, Mr. Ruth noticed some similarities and differences between the teams in both players and skill level but had some uncertainty about the impact of the changes.

As far as new components of the team and comparisons to last year, we will have to wait and see,” Mr. Ruth said. “Every season unfolds differently and I am very optimistic. But, I do not know what to expect for our first game.”

The transition between coaches has been smooth due to Mr. Ruth’s experience as a Varsity soccer coach at Dreyfoos prior to this year. He plans on incorporating old coaching tactics into his current plans.

“I was the coach here from 1998 to 2014, so I have had my share of games and bus rides,” Ruth said. “I preach basic soccer: G to the ball, pick your head up, move with intent, and don’t hold the ball too long.”