When asked to describe his group of nine seniors in one word, Rockport boys soccer coach David Curley paused and stared at the treeline adjacent to the Vikings’ soccer field.
Curley’s been through it all with this group. A Division 3 North championship. Two trips to the Division 3 North final. Three deep trips in the state tournament. Fifty-seven wins to date, with at least three more games to be played.
As it turns out, there’s no one word to describe them.
“They’re athletic, they’re competitive, they’re mentally tough, they’re versatile, they’re unselfish,” Curley finally said. “And as a result of the experiences they’ve had, they’re, as high school soccer players go, wise.”
Wise. A word not usually associated with a group of teenagers.
But, on the soccer field at least, it seems to fit the Vikings’ veterans.
That wisdom has led Rockport to the cusp of a CAL Small title. It allowed the Vikings to avenge a 6-1 loss to Ipswich early in the season with a 2-0 win over the Tigers last week. It helped them bounce back from a disappointing shutout loss to Georgetown last week, just days after clinching a tournament berth, with that win over Ipswich.
And it’s put the Vikings (11-4-1) in a spot to make a run at another deep run in the state tournament.
“They’re able to draw on their past experiences,” Curley said. “It’s an expression that I’ve used in teaching and working with athletes. ‘You don’t get smarter, necessarily. You get wiser.’ Of these nine seniors, they’ve been involved in the program since they were freshmen so there’s a lot of wisdom there.
“When they were freshmen, they were in the North finals. When they were sophomores, they were North champions and state semifinalists, and last year, they went to the North semifinals and lost to the eventual Eastern Mass. champions (Georgetown). They are wise, and they do draw on that.”