After two years on Andover Boys Junior Varsity Soccer, Henry Rogers ’19 joined Andover Boys Varsity Soccer this season and has captured the spirit of the team’s relentless work ethic, according to Co-Captain Morgan Cutts ’18.
In an email to The Phillipian, Cutts wrote, “[He’s] a really hard worker and is a quick learner. He is often eager to soak up anything that will improve his game. He’s a really coachable guy.”
According to Cutts, Rogers also possesses an amiable personality that adds cohesiveness to the already close-knit team. Rogers’ persistent hustle on the field and strong communication skills have earned him The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
How long have you been playing soccer?
I kind of grew up playing soccer — I started playing for a team in the third grade, but even before that, I played for fun with friends. I’m from Massachusetts, but I grew up in the Middle East, so I didn’t play for a team until I was older, but I played a lot of pickup soccer all throughout my childhood, just hanging around with friends and kicking the ball around.
What do you like most about the sport?
I really enjoy the competitive nature of [soccer]. Especially now, at the Varsity level, I think the competition has increased a lot, and that really ups the the intensity of the game. I also love the fluidity of the game and the fact that [soccer is such a] free-form [sport]. There are so many different ways to play, and I think that’s something super unique about it [that is] unlike a lot of other sports.
What do you enjoy most about playing on Andover Boys Soccer?
I like the camaraderie of a team, especially [Andover’s] team. I’m close friends with a lot of the [players], and I also just really like everyone on the team as a whole. It’s a super good group of people, which makes it a lot of fun [going] to practice every day. Practice is intense, but I think that the intensity of the games and drills we play really brings us together and provides us with a common goal, which is really fun to try and reach together.
What do you do to prepare for a big game?
I try to drink a lot of a water, get good sleep, and just try to relax. When I first started playing this year, I was really stressed out before every game because this was my first year on Varsity. I felt the need to prove myself every game. I still do want to prove myself, but at the beginning of the season, I used to get really freaked out and get super anxious. I sort of ended up psyching myself out for the game. Now, I know [that] when I’m calmer, I tend to play a lot better so try to calm myself down instead, focus on what my job is, and what I need to try to do to help my team that game.
How are you looking to improve as a soccer player?
I’m working on my speed. Soccer is such a fast-paced game, and especially now, at the Varsity level, [the pace is] so much quicker from [that of] JV. The speed of the game is something that’s been hard to adjust to, especially at the beginning of the season, and it’s definitely something I’m still working on. So, just getting used to the faster pace and the intensity that we play at.
What are some of your goals for the rest of the season both as a player and a member of the team?
As a member of the team, I want us to do the best that we can. We haven’t necessarily gotten the results we’ve wanted in our last couple games, but I know we can step it up for the remainder of the season and play at the level we know we can. Overall, I think we need to just focus on channeling all of our hard work and skills from practice into our game so we can get the results that will get us into playoffs (and also so that we can beat Exeter, of course). Personally, I just want to try and continue to improve as a player so that I can do my job and help my team in the rest of our season.
What advice would you give to aspiring soccer players?
I would say, especially if you go through the JV system, don’t get disheartened by not making the team you want to at first, especially as a younger player in the program. Trust the process that if you put in the work and continue to practice hard, it’s gonna work out for you. Coming from my Junior year I was put on JV2, and I was super frustrated that I didn’t make JV1, especially since I had played soccer before Andover. But it turns out, I wasn’t at the level I thought I was. Then, my Lower year, I was placed on JV1, which was again super frustrating because I had really wanted to make Varsity. But I continued to work hard on improving as a player and looking forward, and obviously, I’m super glad that I kept working hard and that I didn’t let the fact that I hadn’t made the team I wanted to discourage me. I know a lot of the players on the team made it as Seniors, or they made it as Uppers, or they didn’t make it their [Junior] year and made it their Lower year, and I think it’s important to know that even coming into the team later on in your career doesn’t mean that you can’t be a crucial player and make a difference on the team and in the program. Also, on a team, I’d say keep working hard in practice, and know that your hard work will eventually pay off.