The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

“Colorful Cast of Characters” United by Camaraderie on Boys’ JV A Soccer Team

Credit: Maisie Mattocks ’24

Although they aren’t going on to play at D1 schools, the Boys JV A Soccer team boasts a colorful and devoted cast of characters.
The Willistonian set out to learn what makes this team and its wide range of athletes such a spectacle.
The JV A Soccer team is headed by Tom Johnson, with assistance from Kurt Whipple, two longtime members of Williston’s soccer program. The team hosts grades 10-12, with abilities varying from varsity-caliber to “need a sport for senior fall” level. Since 2007, the second level of Williston soccer has gone by “JV A,” and before that went by the typical “JV” moniker. So far, the team is 2-1-3.
Chase Livingston, a co-captain of this year’s team, explained that his group has had to fight through significant adversity in the first half of the season.
“We are a team who has faced a lot of injuries early on and have had different people step up playing at different positions,” he said.
Jackson Miller, a junior defender from Nashville, Tenn., had to miss time due to a concussion earlier in the season, but credits the success of the season to the upperclassmen, who “have stepped up,” and “been good leaders.”
The injury report doesn’t stop there though. Jack Ballinger, a senior defender, also missed time with a concussion. Senior Kevin Mwangi has been plagued with constant knee injuries, but has fought through long sessions in the trainers’ room to stay on the field. Sophomores Will Lee and Bennett Evelti have also faced ankle injuries.
Chase also noted the team’s unity and camaraderie, despite leading very different lives off the pitch.
“We all come together well because we all enjoy going out and having fun everyday at practice,” he said. “However, we enjoy getting better as a unit and playing seriously as well.”
Logan Cherewatti, a senior from Southampton, seconded Chase’s feelings of team dedication.
“Everyone on the team wants to be there, and everyone gets along well,” he said. Logan added that Chase and fellow co-captain, Est Sukcharoenyingyong, have “done a great job on and off the field getting the team connected.”
Est, a senior from Bangkok, feels emotional about his final year playing soccer, calling his final season as a captain with Chase “special.” He also complimented the diversity in age of the team members, saying it’s “more fun to mix players around,” which provides “a stronger chemistry in the team.”
A topic frequently mentioned by players is the leadership of coaches Johnson and Whipple. Est says they “bring positivity,” while Chase says they “create a personal relationship” with the players, as well as listening to “what [the players] have to say.”
Whipple, who has coached almost every level of sub-varsity soccer, on both the boys and girls sides, appreciates the middle ground JV A serves.
“It’s unique, in that, we try to strike a fine balance between having fun and being serious,” he said. “I think JV A has to have a competitive nature to us but we also want to make it fun for the kids.”
Alex Landon, a sophomore from Longmeadow, wants people to know that JV A is “a skilled team that works hard every day,”
Devin Berry Brown, a sophomore from Amherst, thinks this year is special because of “how young [they] are as a team compared to past years.”

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  • C

    CarterOct 26, 2023 at 8:45 PM

    I would love to read an article about the origin and nature of the JVA soccer to XC pipeline!

  • J

    Jackson EstesOct 26, 2023 at 8:42 PM

    They don’t pay you enough!!!!!