Parkland Men’s Soccer start season strong

Kaleb Schwaiger

Staff Writer

Already 6-0 for the season, Parkland Men’s Soccer Team is off to a good start. The Cobras, led by

Head Coach Mike Sikora, are looking to go back to Nationals this year.

According to Sikora, the Cobras have had “moderate success” over the past few years. Last year, they

won the Mid-West Athletic Conference title, their first since 2008. A large amount of last year’s team

is returning this year, and Sikora feels strongly that they can have another competitive season.

The biggest challenge the team seems to face year after year is getting the freshman ready for the grind

of a college sport.

“All new players hit the wall at some point in the season,” Sikora said.

Sometimes this wall is as simple as physical ability, with bodies breaking down under the stress. Other

times it can be difficult to manage the amount of time spent on school work with time spent on soccer.

For some of the players, it is their first experience away from home.

The driving force behind this Cobra squad is their spirit. While they certainly have the talent to do big

things this year, having the right attitude is the key to success.

“Beyond players of quality, we have a great team spirit. They are very competitive and know that

attitude will only improve our chances to be successful,” Sikora remarked.

A successful team doesn’t just rely on their coach for guidance. Two Co-captains and sophomores Zach

Allevi and Zach Downing also keep a watchful eye on their team.

Off the field the pair makes sure that the team stays up on their school work, emphasizing that they are

not just athletes, but student athletes.

Downing stressed the importance of making sure his team gets good grades, and says it is even more

important than doing well on the field.

Being a community college, most players want to use Parkland as a stepping stone to somewhere else,

and academics plays a big role in their ability to transfer.

Another important aspect is making sure that the players get adequate rest on Friday nights, to be

prepared for game time Saturdays.

One of the top teams on the player’s list to beat is the Sunday, Sept. 14 match up against Lewis and

Clark Community College. Lewis and Clark knocked the Cobras out of the Regional Finals last year in

a penalty shootout.

One of the highlights so far of the 2014 season was handing Laramie County Community College a

loss. They went to Nationals last year, so to win against them is a sign of the potential for good things

to come.

For this year’s Labor Day event, the team raised over $1,000 for the Wesley Food Pantry at Parkland.

“I am very happy that our players have a chance to have a positive impact on the campus while they are

here for two years,” Sikora said.

Both the coach and players on the Men’s Soccer Team are hopeful this season, and are looking to make

it to nationals.

For more information on Parkland Men’s Soccer Team, please visit www.parkland.edu/athletics/

menssoccer.