NW Soccer Season Ready to Run


Niles West varsity boys soccer team in a huddle.

By Alicia Malek, Academics Editor

The boys soccer season has started, and this year, they aim to strengthen their team, perfect their skills, and make it to state.

Last season, the boys faced some challenges as a result of the pandemic. Senior goalkeeper Nathan Piuian understands the leadership that the seniors must perform to support the team.

“One of our biggest problems that we faced was that we only had a few juniors last year on the team and now that all of the other seniors are gone, we have to work with the new squad and make sure everyone’s well conditioned and has good chemistry with one another,” Piuian said. “It’s going to be a little tougher now, but we should be fine.”

Although the pandemic limited the boys last season, they are prepared to make a comeback. Senior forward Alex Cherian believes that their team will be able to go farther this season with the additional practice and new coach.

“We have a new head coach this year, coach Thomas Villamil. We all like the coach; he’s a good guy, trains us well, and I feel like he will be good for our program,” Cherian said.

A former Niles West wolf, Villamil played for three years and now wants to incorporate his experiences into the boys practice. He’s hoping to perfect their skills and prepare them for their first game.

“Initially, when we had our summer camp, we saw some of the kids were a little bit less out of soccer shape than we would like, but obviously, we have been drilling through to them how important it is to be staying in shape,” Villamil said. Even though their touch or their passing or their shooting is excellent, they tend to get tired earlier, but I think the kids are in good shape now.”

Although they are slightly behind, their devotion to soccer is unquestionable.

“For leadership, we see that the kids all come together as a group; they all want to be together and hang out together, so I really love that they’re staying together as a team. That’s one of my favorite parts about this group” Villamil said.

Both the boys and Villamil are excited for the season. With a diverse and passionate group, there’s no doubt that the boys will find success.

Their first game will be away on Tuesday, Aug. 24 against Conant.