Being able to play competitive soccer from a young age has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. It has kept me extremely busy while providing the opportunity to learn many important skills as both a player and as a person. I was always fortunate enough to play on a good team, with players and coaches that were always enjoyable to work with. Without these things, my entire experience would most likely have been completely different.
I started out playing club soccer in u11 for Idaho Osprey Soccer Club. It was a huge jump from just having played in recreational leagues. The level of competition was much higher, making the first fall season very difficult. We lost most of our games, but also learned a lot and were able to adjust, making major improvements in the spring season. It was after that season that we were able to take off as a team. We picked up a few players who had played up the year before and decided to stay with their true age groups. Our new coach, Bekim, was also very helpful in teaching us how to play as a unit and learning a more technical side of the game. After that we became one of the dominant teams, along with our rivals, FC Boise. Though this rivalry did not last very long as Rush came to Boise and soon absorbed both teams with plans to combine us both. Once put together, we got Lee Riley as our new coach. He was the perfect man for the job of bringing us together and forgetting our past as each other’s opposition. Under Lee, we had two successful years winning state cup of both our u14 and u15 seasons.
Despite the awesome success we had with our previous coaches, we experienced something completely different starting in our u16 spring season. Our new coach, Jens Haustein, opened us up to an entirely new type of game and helped us to achieve a higher level of competition than any of us had ever experienced. It was difficult to make the adjustment, but we accepted the challenge. Jens used his experience of playing professionally in Germany to help us achieve this. From preseason conditioning, to playing our last games of the season at the Far West Regionals, he supplied us with everything we needed to succeed, and stressed that it was up to us when it came to how far we wanted to make it. His style of coaching and playing are things that I continue to try and implement into my game, especially now playing at college.
All my teammates, coaches, and my parents are the ones that I owe my thanks to for being able to make it where I am today. I believe that playing for Rush prepared me for moving onto the next level of play better than any other club would have. I can’t imagine enjoying the ability to play for any other coaches as much as I did with the coaches I had at Rush. The examples they set, and the expectations they had for us have made the transition to playing at college much smoother. They not only taught me the game of soccer, but also how to conduct myself as a person. The memories and experiences I have had playing for Rush are unforgettable and I would not trade them for anything.