The Morris soccer team is off to its best start in school history.
With eight seniors leading the way, the Redskins boast a 4-0-1 record at press time, playing for the Streator Tournament championship on Saturday morning.
Midfielder Nestor Rodriguez is one of the eight seniors on the squad this fall and he recently took time out of his day to engage the Morris Daily Herald as this week’s question & answer subject.
Q. What is it like being a senior now and knowing this is your last chance to perform for the Redskins?
A. Knowing that it will be my last high school season, I have mixed feelings. I am pretty excited yet sad at the same time because this will be the last time playing with my high school peers.
Q. What responsibilites do you feel come with that?
A. Being a senior gives me the opportunity to represent the Morris Redskins one last time as a mature, skilled soccer player.
Q. How much work by this team went on in the offseason?
A. A lot of hard work. The team went to an Eastern [Illinois] University camp, we played in other leagues and we also worked on conditioning and practicing tactics.
Q. I count eight seniors on the team this fall. How much have you guys played together over the years?
A. Oh, this question is easy.
We have practically grown up together on the soccer field.
We have been playing since we were 6-years old on my dad’s (Coach Mata) team throughout the years. Wining several leagues and tournaments.
Q. What is the biggest key the season for Morris this fall?
A. From my point of view the biggest key for this season is to control the midfield.
If we control the midfield we control the game.
Q. I keep hearing coach talk about wanting to get the Redskins to state. What would that actually take and do you think this team can actually get that far?
A. A state team takes discipline and everybody being on the same page. We have an above average team but we lack being on the same page.
With a little more practice we might definitely beat our past records.
Q. Finally, if you had a piece of advice for a younger kid in Morris who wanted to be a successful soccer player for the Redskins, what kind of advice would you give them?
A. All I can tell them is not to give up. Practice technically, mentally and physically.
Practice technically and physically by joining a travel team above your level and standards.
Then mentally by studying great athletes by seeing how they maneuver the ball.