SARASOTA, Fla. - The 1st Annual Andrew Monroe scholarship 5k run went on as planned this past weekend. The funds raised go towards the Riverview Rams soccer program. And the Rams are honoring the memory of the former Rams goalie with a phenomenal season.
Not for a decade have the Riverview Rams sniffed a district title in soccer, but this year they have their sights on that, and much more.
"We haven't won districts in a while. To have those goals you have to keep going for those goals. If you get those goals, you still have to keep going higher and higher. You never reach the highest, so we have to keep on going," says midfielder Stephen Mack.
At 18-1-1 on the season, the Rams have had a mental makeover in the past 2 years after Ed Stroop took over as the coach.
As any coach will tell you, the most important thing is getting your team to believe in you. "They bought into the goals we had early on. They set the goals as part of a leadership council. The council is made up of guys from each grade, representing each grade setting up team values on and off the field," says Stroop.
So not only have the players bought in to the philosophy, but they have also put it into practice on the field. The senior leaders had no problems believing after their early years were unsuccessful.
"Enjoying every second of it. Every time we play a game, or go to school, you have to enjoy it every day. That is the best part," says Mack.
"It’s very important, mostly for seniors. It’s our last year here, and we are trying to make it happen, you know?" says Carlos Cabrera.
It's a team that is serious about winning and working hard, but they also know how to cut loose, and they can be pretty scrappy too. "We are all friends on this team, and we will hang out on the weekends. We are more of a family than a team. I enjoy coming to practice, not only to work hard, but to hang out with my friends," says midfielder J.T. Truitt.
"We want what we want, and we're going to do whatever it takes to get it!!!" says Cabrera.