The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media


Preseason Pursuit

The Antioch girl’s soccer program is setting itself up for a successful season by participating in preseason activities.
Hannah Barczak
Juniors Lily Tinker, Grace Quirke and Kaitlyn Baylen prepare for upcoming season.

Head coach for Antioch Community High School varsity soccer team Maddie Lyon has been preparing her girls for their upcoming spring season for the past three years by holding open gyms every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 6-7 am. These open gyms start after Thanksgiving break and continue weekly until the last week of February when tryouts occur. Last year, the team entered a winter league where they played games every Sunday night at Canlan Sports Libertyville. Last year, a player’s parent coached the team throughout the winter season but this year, the team decided to take a different approach. Varsity soccer alumni Gia Larson and Brendan Lebrun have taken over as coaches for the 2023-2024 winter season. The outcome of having familiar faces coach the girls is very positive and not only helps the team chemistry, but also helps their skills in games. The winter team’s final record went 6-1-0.

The indoor team is a new addition to the preseason activities. Still, for the past three years coach Lyon has held morning open gyms for not only the returning boys and girls players but also for those who are interested in joining the program. During the first year of open gyms, there was no telling how much improvement had been made by the girls since Lyon had never coached them before but in her second year of coaching, Lyon saw a drastic change.  

“Preseason activities 100% help improve my players skills as well as getting them comfortable with each other again,” Lyon said. “There is for sure something to be said about players who spend a lot of time playing together.” 

Open gyms are an opportunity where players of all different skill levels can come together and play without having the feeling of being judged. The atmosphere is comfortable and relieving knowing that you are preparing yourself for the upcoming season. Some players have even taken it upon themselves to prepare for this upcoming season by competing with their club team and practicing on their own time. Junior Grace Qurike is a two-sport varsity athlete and also is co-captain of her club soccer team. Throughout Quirke’s busy sports schedule, she still manages to take time to not only participate in open gyms, but also participate in her club team’s winter leagues and practices. 

Story continues below advertisement

“The people are what motivates me to do both,” Grace Quirke said. “I like being in a team environment and feeling like there are always multiple people by my side.”

Open gyms and the indoor league are opportunities where old and new players can come together before the start of the season, reconnect, and create chemistry. Throughout all teams,  chemistry is one of, if not the most important part of the game. Without team chemistry, some players would not even be able to complete something as simple as a pass to their teammate. From the start of the season to the first game there are only so many practices, so having an open gym and the indoor league as an option to meet new teammates and create at least a little bit of chemistry before the real season is very helpful. Sophomore Josi Pellegrini has been going to these open gyms whenever she can and also competes in the indoor league. Pellegrini was brought onto varsity in the middle of the 2023 season and agrees that having the opportunity to have already played with most varsity girls during these preseason activities paid off. 

“When more of the team is at the open gym it helps create the chemistry for the upcoming season before the season starts,” said Josi Pellegrini. 

This season the girls are looking forward to getting into the flow of things quickly and having a successful season with the help of these preseason activities, and hope their hard works pays off.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Lily Tinker, Tom Tom Staff
Hannah Barczak
Hannah Barczak, Visual Director
Hannah Barczak is a senior this is her fourth year on staff as well as her second year as the Visual Director on the Executive Board of the Tom Tom.  Along with her interest in media, this will be her fourth year as an ACHS cheerleader. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, taking pictures, and traveling during her free time. Barczak is excited to make the most of her senior year.
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We encourage constructive and meaningful discussions while maintaining a safe and welcoming environment. Comments should be relevant to the topic at hand and avoid personal attacks or derogatory language. Our team moderates the comments to ensure compliance with our policy and reserves the right to remove any content that violates these guidelines. We value open dialogue and diverse perspectives, and aim to foster a positive online experience for all users.
All Sequoit Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *