Athlete friendships boost team spirit


Zach Tierney

Photo by Sam Urrea

Sam Urrea and Sam Urrea

Team spirit is an influential asset to any sports team. Those last minute goals, eye-catching touchdowns or powerful spikes could not be done without the endurance and hard work of every single player, whose interactions on the court or field are yielded through passion and determination. At American River College, sport teams seem to be socializing with not just their own teammates, but other squads as well.

Fall is the season of soccer, football, volleyball and water polo. They are all team sports in which a correlation within the team is vital to obtaining results. Interaction between teams of the opposite sex has now become a big part of team spirit as well.

The men’s soccer team has enjoyed an impressive season so far, one of the reasons being the character and attitude of the players, according to center midfield player Rian McEvoy.

McEvoy, 19, identified the team’s good run as a result of the feel-good factor within the team.

“The guys are always together,” McEvoy said. “If were not at dinners, we are hanging out together on weekends and doing things like playing FIFA.”

The women’s team, on the other hand, has not lived up to expectations after making it to the final four in the state championship last season.

Center-midfielder Haley Hallaran nevertheless praised the support the women receive from their male counterparts and admired the way the teams bond.

“We are always supporting each other,” Hallaran said. “We go to their games and they come to ours and cheer us on. We are somewhat a family.”

The men’s and women’s water polo squads are no different. Likewise, they have formed friendships and spend time together outside the pools.

Women’s water polo captain Avery Dotterer said the men’s and women’s teams get along well but function in separate ways.

“When there is a problem on the girls’ side of things, it tends to get solved by both parties,” Dotterer said. “ Guys are more independent. They tend to solve issues on their own.”

Given the absence of a womens’s football team and a mens’ volleyball team, the teams respectively, have formed strong bonds, which have resulted in friendships and even serious relationships.

Volleyball outside hitter Lauren Kirshke said both the football and volleyball teams’ desire to succeed on and off the field/court has led them to form a great understanding.

“We both have the same passions for being successful at school and staying fit,” Kirshke said. “We do a lot of work together in the LRC (Learning Resource Center).”

Kirshke is in a relationship with Trevor Jones who plays defensive end for the football team, but dismissed it as an uncommon occurrence.

“Both teams have been hanging out for a long time,” Kirshke said. “We’ve known these guys since last year. There are a few relationships going on, it’s not just me.”

Being embroiled in a romance and focusing on a sport may seem to be an unnecessary distraction for players, but head football coach Jerry Haflich wrote off the perception as a little far-fetched.

“I want fully focused players but it all depends on how they handle the relationship and managing time,” Haflich said. “For the most part, these guys continue to perform.”