Let’s Play Some SOCCER!

Soccer season is afoot, and the Dimond teams are getting ready to fight in the long, laborious path to victory. Despite the unseasonable weather conditions the teams are still practicing hard, while they await their first game on the outdoor turf. Varsity coaches Dan Riedman and John Oliver are gearing up the team with new techniques and strategies. Oliver, boys varsity coach, says, “The player pool is strong from top to bottom.” He’s very excited for the team. Oliver notes, “One main focus will be to play with confidence, enjoy our soccer and play organized, disciplined, attractive soccer.” Oliver has been coaching since 1991, and has continuously committed to higher levels of coaching education. Oliver really enjoys coaching soccer. He says, “What I enjoy most about coaching is seeing how much better the new generations of soccer players are. They are more technical and are therefore able to play a higher tactical level of soccer.” According to Oliver, the biggest struggle for the team this year will be “staying motivated and focused on their team goals. There are a lot of distractions for high school-aged players. If they can stay focused on their goals, they will have success this season.” Last year Dimond won the Region Conference tournament and had a strong showing in the state tournament. In the past seasons, Dimond has traditionally been a strong soccer school in Region IV and at the state level. Freshman Ariela Lewis is playing for Dimond girl’s Varsity team. Her favorite position is forward; however, she plays all-around the field, minus goalie, for the Dimond team. Lewis talks about her excitement for playing for Dimond. “Yes I am [excited],” she said, “[I’m excited] to be on varsity and compete against schools said to be as good as us [Dimond]… Like Service.” So far, Lewis says the most fun part is “the practices. When everyone relaxes and goofs off.” However, Lewis notes that when it’s time to get serious, the team is very focused. She also adds that ‘team bondings’ are a lot of fun. Lewis says the worst part is “losing, even when you know your team could have won the game.” Junior Tyler Gillam is on Dimond’s Varsity boys soccer team and has been since he was a freshman. Gillam plays midfield and defense and is a key player on the team. He says the best part of this year’s soccer season is “new jerseys.” Gillam also notes that he really dislikes “practicing in the gym.” The varsity girl’s first game was March 27. They played service and lost, with a score of 2 (Service) to 1 (Dimond). The boys varsity’s first game was April 1 against Service at The Dome. Dimond and Service tied 0-0.