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HCA sets new milestone with soccer game

Heritage Christian Academy’s soccer team had its first ever organized game last Saturday against Benedict Day School and narrowly lost 6-5.

The majority of players for HCA are in fourth through sixth grade with four eighth graders also on the team.

Head Coach Danny Zimmerli said several of his players never participated in an organized soccer game prior to Saturday’s match, but the result shows the future is bright for his team.

“They have really come along. I was extremely proud of them working together, even if there are a lot of lessons to learn. But it’s really inspiring. If this is what they’re showing me now, then the best is yet to come,” Zimmerli said.

There are 16 athletes total on the team with boys and girls playing side by side for HCA.

Seeing as the game was the first time some of the athletes played soccer in an organized fashion, Zimmerli said the majority of preparation leading up to the game focused on the basics of the sport.

“The preparation was all about learning. I found the right players (for specific positions). The forwards were the ones who had more experience and understood the concepts, and I set up my captains,” Zimmerli said.

Zimmerli is still going to have his players focus on learning the game as the team prepares for its next match.

The athletes may now have some competitive experience, but there’s still a lot to learn when it comes to the intricacies of soccer.

The team will take on Benedict Day School Dec. 12 for its next competitive match.

“We’re definitely going to nail down positions. You don’t even have to be the best player, but if you’re there and the ball is coming to you then you’re a step ahead,” Zimmerli said.

This is the team’s first year so the focus will be on growing the program and getting the athletes game day experience.

Zimmerli said being able to be part of this history making group is a special opportunity, and a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s really amazing and awe inspiring being at the beginning of this. During the game I have to be like, ‘This is amazing.’ This is part of something that’s going to grow. It’s amazing to be a part of it and get it growing, to watch them start doing things they didn’t think they’d be able to do,” Zimmerli said.