Players and Coaches Prepare for 2021 Soccer Season


Haroun Ghazi

POUNDERS PREPARE FOR 2021 SOCCER SEASON — Coach Tim Browder and Central soccer players gather before they start practicing to discuss their goals.

Landon Cook, Staff Writer

The boys’ soccer team is back and playing in the 2021 season, barring any setbacks. Returning Coach Tim Browder will be looking to achieve success after the previous season was cancelled after only two games due to COVID-19. Hopes for an amazing season run high throughout the team, and they are hungry to compete.

This season, however, is the first time that the team will not be able to participate in preseason scrimmages, which could be a potential hindrance in the production from younger players. A key in preventing the cold start will be upperclassmen helping the advancement of the younger players’ skill sets. Team captain and fourth year returner, Bassam Faleh, pledges to upkeep the energy and passion of the team and younger players.

“I hope to help the team by providing any type of support on and off the field,” shared Faleh. “I think encouraging my teammates to get back in form for this upcoming season will be beneficial for everyone, especially younger players, and I hope that we can achieve that together in practice.” 

Faleh has received extensive praise from his teammates and his coach for his dedication, talent, and leadership.

“Bassam Faleh is our senior captain. He is a four-year starter and plays center midfield for me,” added Browder. “He is an amazing player and leader.”

Conditioning for the upcoming season began on February 2 and continued every Tuesday and Thursday until practiced started on February 15.

Coach Browder will be directing the team through the season, conditioning, and practice, teaching players about the mechanics and talent that the sport brings with it. Browder is hopeful that his team can bring success upon completing a full season, and he hopes to develop and enhance the team.

“To be honest, my main goal is just to get in a complete schedule of games,” explained Browder. “Last year, we only got to play two games before our season was called off. A full schedule would be amazing.” 

The season will kick off with Sale Creek visiting on March 22. There are no heated rivalries this season due to the rezoning of the district, but a couple notable games will include Sale Creek and Bradley Central. As of now, the complete regular season schedule includes 11 matches. This includes the divisional games against East Hamilton, Sequoyah, and McMinn Central. The regular season will end on May 4. The tournament will begin the following week and is a single elimination bracket. 

The team is preparing and is ready to kickoff the 2021 season. This will be some players’ final time representing Central on the field, and they are hoping for a state championship send-off. 

Readers can view the latest sports updates on the sports center page. This is where schedules, scores, and rosters will be posted. The Digest will continue to bring the latest coverage and updates as the 2021 season progresses.