"Tearing Down the Net" w/ Tate McIntyre
Monday, August 30, 2010
Hello everyone and thanks for taking a little time out of your day to visit my blog. I'm Tate McIntyre, a soon to be 21 year old junior at Centenary from Mansfield, Texas. Did I mention that I am also on the men's soccer team at Centenary?  In the weeks to come I will take you inside everything that happens within the Centenary Gents soccer team. From off the field gatherings and activities, to the very huddle itself, I will tell you everything there is worth knowing about the group of guys I spend all my time with.

The summer months are always very grueling and quite intense for soccer players. While it would certainly be more fun to go out and enjoy the time off from school, we strive to improve fitness levels, strength and overall athleticism during this time through many hours in the gym and on the track. This year, it was evident that everyone really did their best in the offseason as the entire squad came in relatively fit and ready to go. After five days of two-a-day practices in which everyone showed off the rewards of their hard work this summer, the team stayed injury free and the preseason schedule officially got under way Saturday night in Marshall, TX against East Texas Baptist University.

Although most of the guys were rather nervous inside, the bus ride to Marshall was very relaxed as nobody wanted to seem too wound up over the start of a very optimistic season that was at hand. Once individual and team warm-ups were out of the way, all that stood between us and our new season was the referee's whistle. At the sound of the whistle I'm pretty sure everyone had a little extra spring in their step for about 15 minutes (until we realized that it was still summer and we had 75 more minutes to play), and then we finally settled in and began to put some passes together. It was an interesting start to the year, and the slightly lesser quality of our opponent gave us the chance to use our new formation, which is still a work in progress to say the least. Regardless, we outshot the opponent 20-7 and won the game 1-0.

A really encouraging thought occurred to me after the game. I was reflecting on the 90 minutes that had just taken place and I realized that the team really was buying in to our new scheme and everyone was doing their part to the best of our ability, no matter how strange it felt to them. Our team has always had talent, but we have also been plagued by a host of mental mistakes which we are aiming to eliminate. If we can continue to build on the body of work we have laid so far, it can be a very successful season for the men's soccer team at Centenary.

At the end of each installment of this blog, I am going to give a shout-out to one of my teammates who has done something extraordinary or really strange during the week. This week's shout-out goes to my good friend and roommate of two years Jihad Elaydi. "G" as we call him, has been fasting for Ramadan (A Muslim tradition) ever since the start of preseason. Despite not being able to eat or drink all day while the sun is still up, G has still been able to go all out whether it be practice or a game, and really make an impact on our team. Way to go G!

-Tate McIntyre