How a high school sports team starts from scratch


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Jefferson High School students in Sioux Falls are not just part of brand-new classes; they’re also part of new sports teams. But when you’re starting a program from scratch, there are no previous championships or even one single game won or lost. It’s all up in the air.

“It’s an exciting time,” said Taylor Machacek, head girls soccer coach at Jefferson High School. “It, not everyone gets to experience this of starting a new program at a new high school, so it really opens up a lot of opportunities for our team to be able to create a culture, an environment, how we play against other teams.”

“It’s actually really exciting,” said Steve Hirsch, head boys soccer coach at Jefferson High School. “I’m looking forward to meeting new players, I have some returners from Roosevelt that will be with us, but just putting a team together from scratch is always something that’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time, ’cause you don’t know who you’re going to have.”

The coaches have some familiarity with players.

“We’ve had open fields,” Machacek said. “We started in June, and we’ve had a really good turnout, so I’ve gotten to know the players through that, and it’s been really fun to get to know them and see their personalities and how they play at open field.”

Hirsch was previously a junior varsity coach at Roosevelt High School.

“I am fairly familiar… I have a handful that are coming from Roosevelt, but there’s the new freshman that are coming in, I’m excited to see those,” Hirsch said.

Alexis Gross, Emma Behm, Andrew Hirsch and Garret Boll are all likely to be involved in the launch of Jefferson’s soccer programs. Gross and Behm are each going to be juniors.

“I’m excited to play, and our first game is against Roosevelt, so old school, so I’m ready to get on the field and show everyone what we can do,” Behm said.

“I think it’s exciting to get a opportunity to play with new girls, and we’ll be a younger team, so hopefully we’ll do well against some of the older, more established programs,” Gross said.

Andrew Hirsch will be a junior, too.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, for sure, but I think everyone’s more than excited to get going and stuff like that, so I think it’s going to be fun,” Andrew Hirsch said.

Garret Boll will be a senior at Jefferson.

“I think it’s really exciting to meet everybody and start a new team from last year, ’cause I know some of our other friends are at Roosevelt, so it’s going to be fun playing them again and have a little, like rivalry competition,” Boll said.

The teams don’t have histories yet. That’s where these Cavaliers come in.

“It’s an exciting time and a great opportunity to really set the foundation for this Jefferson soccer team,” Machacek said.

“It’s awesome that we get to build the program from ground up,” Steve Hirsch said.

Each team has their first match on August 13.

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