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Soccer deserves North's respect.

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Over the summer, I had my first taste of soccer fandom at Chicago’s Soldier Field. It was round 16 in the World Cup, and the U.S. was battling Belgium to advance to the quarterfinals. The city had been hosting viewing parties for the USA games, and the crowd had grown so large that the European football game was incidentally viewed at an American football stadium.

For the entire match, I was scared to blink in fear of missing anything important. I remember standing in awe as I watched Everton’s Tim Howard save goal after goal and gain the adoration of every fan in the field. In the end, Belgium gained a 2-1 lead over the U.S. in extra time, and the throngs of American fans left Soldier Field downhearted. But even as I skulked back on the BNSF for Naperville, I could not wait to start following the sport for NNHS.

After 17 years of disinterest for soccer, I had finally gotten it. It is the lack of scoring that gives the sport its excitement. It is the simple fact that any drive could change the game, that any single shot or goal can decide the entire outcome. So, we watch intently until something does happen.

At NNHS, I have found a similar intensity to the one I saw that warm summer day at Soldier Field. I have watched our senior striker Chris Ensign nail in headers. I’ve seen senior defenders Brandon Hipp and Wes Wong cut, slide and turn defense into offense. I’ve even seen our starting goalie swap jerseys and play as a midfielder. Of all the times I’ve seen them take the field, I have not once left disappointed.

Earlier this season, NNHS entered the regional tournament finals, bearing the title of DVC champions. With a record of 13-2-2 and a diverse lineup, the Huskies now advance to Sectionals, and intends to take this season to the IHSA Championship.

For the NNHS soccer games I have attended, I’ve been pretty disappointed by the turn-out. How is it that soccer’s Dawg Pound is often limited to 20-25 seniors, who are mostly the team members’ personal friends? For a team that is ranked top 10 in state, this is nothing short of pitiful. Our Huskies deserve better than that. By attending a game, you can show the team that you care. Cheers would motivate the Huskies to perform even better. More than anything, soccer deserves our respect.

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The student news site of Naperville North High School
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