Washington soccer prepares for official practices to start

Published 8:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2023

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Washington High School boys soccer will begin official practices starting next week. There have been summer workouts going on at Beaufort County Community College while they waited for the new grass to grow in the new practice field.

Head coach Jim Kozuch said the turnout has been great for summer workouts. “We’ve had about 10-15 kids show up for each workout,” Kozuch said. “The main focus this summer has just been playing. We wanted the guys to have fun and play some games before official practices start.”

Kozuch said they will begin two-day practices next week. The first practice will be early in the morning, from 7-9 a.m. They will mainly do conditioning in the morning, working on improving their strength and stamina. Kozuch said they probably will not even put on cleats for morning practice. For night practice, they will work on skills and technique.

Kozuch said the players are excited about the season. “They are pumped to start the season,” Kozuch said. “We have a group chat for the team, and it is constantly buzzing. There will be guys who set up pickup games outside of practice because they want to keep playing and keep getting better. This is a young group that is really enjoying each other.”

Last year, the Pam Pack finished with an 18-5 record. They lost 11 seniors from that team but Kozuch believes this team will make a name for themselves. “This team is young, and we still need to figure out positions for the new players. I think given time; this is a group that people will remember. In two or three years, this team can go and win a state championship,” Kozuch said.

They will begin the season with tough competition. They will see West Carteret, D.H. Conley, and J.H. Rose for their first three games. All three of those schools are in 3A and 4A. Kozuch is embracing the challenge, saying it will be a good test for the team.

Alumni of the Pam Pack have come back to help with the team. Bryan Martinez is a semi-professional soccer player and a WHS graduate. Kozuch said he has been helping keep the players motivated and has been helping the younger players learn the game. Kozuch has loved the help he has received from his fellow coaches and the rest of the community.

Kozuch is excited about the upcoming season and is looking forward to seeing how his team grows in the fall. “I have been very impressed with the level of commitment the guys have shown this summer. I think this will translate to some impressive soccer this season. The work they have put in will lead to success,” Kozuch said.