It has often been said that there is no such thing as a “rebuilding year” for the Ludlow boys varsity soccer team. They simply recharge and reload, this time with two super seven selections, a state and national ranking, and as much heart and hunger for another set of Western Mass. and State championships to add to the trophy case as any other year.
Senior captain Curtis Pereira along with junior Jeff Danek were selected to be among the Republican’s “Super 7.” Pereira, a defender, and Danek, a forward, have already scored three goals each this season and made both have made two assists.
“When the Super 7 forum came up on Mass Live I didn’t even read it because I figured I wasn’t going to be involved in it,” Danek recalled. “I was not expecting this honor.”
Eight games into the season the Lions are still undefeated and things are looking to remain that way.
When ESPN released their high school soccer rankings the Lions found themselves ranked as first in Massachusetts and eighth in the nation.
“It’s an amazing feeling, it’s good that we’re getting rewarded for our hard work,” senior captain Tyler Quiterio commented.
Most of the teams ranked in the top 20 by ESPN are prep-schools who have the advantage of recruiting players. Ludlow is among one of the very few public schools on the list who don’t have this opportunity.
“Once we ran the numbers and did some math we figured out that we’re in the top 0.0036% of all varsity soccer programs in the nation,” said senior captain Sukru Yildirim.
No one knows what the secret is to Ludlow’s success in soccer, but Pereira seems to think it’s their hard work and dedication they put into a sport they love.
“I personally believe it’s coach [Brian] Jarvis’ motivational speeches that excite us as a team and bring us all together to perform at our best, even in the hardest games,” Yildirim added.
Last season the Lions found themselves ranked fifteenth in the nation.
“I knew 15th in the nation was really good, that’s what we were last year, but it feels great to move up. I really think we deserve that spot in the top ten,” said Pereira.
The players believe that they have as good, if not better of a chance at capturing yet another state title this year.
“We’re firing on all cylinders, we’ve got a lot of goal scorers this year,” says Danek. “It’s a powerful squad.”
Their goal for this season is to make it to that final state championship in November that they’ve grown so accustomed to.
“Anything less than a state championship was evidently a waste of my mother’s $145 check,” said Danek.