Waupaca Middle School team ends first season
Waupaca Middle School soccer program wrapped its first season of league play with a 14-0 record.
The team’s season included eight conference games against teams from Stevens Point, Wausau, Antigo and Marshfield, as well as nonconference matchups with Tri-County, Ripon, Berlin and Wautoma.
Roughly half of the teams were co-ed, while the other half consisted of all boys on the roster. Waupaca coaches Mark Polebitski and Bill Rusch fielded a co-ed team.
“The purpose of the program was to develop young soccer players technically and tactically,” said Polebitski, who also coaches Waupaca High School’s girls’ team.
“The confidence and ability to receive the ball was the coaching staff’s top priority,” he said. “I believe we accomplished that goal. Every player on the team took the next step in their soccer career.”
The team also improved its communication on the field, according to Polebitski.
“There was a lot of talking going on in practice and in the games,” he said. “The players used oral communication to help players understand in-game situations. As a whole, the group was positive. It was awesome to hear the players encourage each other.”
The roster included 28 players, including 23 boys and five girls.
“We began on the first day of school,” Polebitski said. “I was impressed that all five girls held their own against teams that were mainly boys. This was one of the hardest-working group of students I ever worked with in 31 years of teaching and coaching soccer.
“For me, the experience was great,” he added. “I enjoyed time out there on the soccer pitch. My hope is that the middle school soccer program continues next year and into the future. It is an excellent opportunity to get our children involved in an exciting alternative outside the school day. The soccer program is healthy in the Waupaca community.”