As the athletics director, I form my own opinions about each season and team, but I am always curious about players’ perceptions.  I often hear from the alumni that are inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame that playing sports at Harrisburg Academy shaped their lives.  So I thought I’d ask current Academy athletes about how they value our sports programs.  Here’s the first in our new series, “The Player’s Perspective.”

The Player’s Perspective: Bryan D. ’16, Varsity Boys’ Soccer, goal keeper

“I think the best part of this soccer season was the team chemistry that we built and maintained through many difficult times.  We may have not had a winning record, but we were always there to support each other when we were upset over a poor call or a lost game we should have won.

“The first time I truly recognized how strong the relationship was between our team was when I got injured in a home game against Belleville Mennonite.  I remember our senior captain, Lee M. ’14, kneeling down next to me and comforting me while we waited for the athletic trainer.  Our sports photographer, Mr. Barrett, was at the game taking pictures, and he sent me this picture of Lee kneeling next to me.  As I left the field on a stretcher, the whole team and coaching staff said goodbye and wished me luck.  At that moment, I remember thinking about how lucky I was to be on a team that cared for each other that much.

“As an undersclassman on the soccer team, the bond I developed with the seniors this year was great.  The amount of effort and unity they instilled on each of us by example helped us persevere and work well together.  The coaches were the glue that held us together.  They used a unique style of leadership that was in my opinion, the most effective. Instead of yelling at us and becoming angry, Coaches Rob, Tom, and Greg would point out what we did right first, and then what we needed to improve on in a positive and calm demeanor. The team did great this year and I am proud to have played with every single team member.  I will miss the seniors greatly but I am also looking forward to meeting the freshmen soccer players next year.  Thanks for a great season guys.”