By: Daeana Barkubein
AS basketball season is beginning to wind down, spring sports will soon commence at GBA. Among the most anticipated of the spring sports is Varsity Boys’ soccer, coached by Mr. Gavin Gromacki. The team will have its first home scrimmage on Tuesday, March 3 at 5:30 p.m. against Sweetwater High School, and the season will officially start on Tuesday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. in a game against Soddy Daisy High School. With many of last year’s seniors having graduated, and with a new group of freshmen joining the team, this year’s season is bound to be interesting.
“Last year, we had a large group of seniors, and many of them had been in the program for a long time. Each season is different though, and I am excited for this new group this season! It is hard to know how the season might go as there are so many factors that affect results. However, our goal is to improve every day, encouraging one another to work hard and play our best for the glory of Christ,” said Gromacki.
The seniors on the lineup of this year’s Varsity Boys’ soccer team, so far, are Colman Pinkston, Jackson, Smith, and a new addition to Grace: Micah Love. Micah, his mother Kelly, and his younger brothers Isaac and Elijah recently moved from Wisconsin to Chattanooga and joined the Golden Eagle community as their father Adam Love took over as Senior Pastor at Grace. For Micah, playing soccer at Grace will be a fresh experience.
“I’ve been playing soccer practically all my life, but I’m looking forward to playing for a team with eleven players on the field. In my other schools, we only played with 8 players. I am also looking forward to getting to know some more of the guys a little better. Other than the count of players, the only difference, I think, will be playing against bigger schools than I’m used to playing,” remarked Love.
Compared, however, to some other schools in Chattanooga, Grace Academy is a relatively small school. Though playing on a large sports team certainly has its benefits, senior Colman Pinkston points out that there are benefits to playing on a smaller sports team.
“The smaller size of our school helps more people get a chance to play, and I have a closer bond with my teammates,” said Pinkston.
In addition to having a small, close-knit team, Grace’s soccer program, like all of its sports programs, is centered around Christian mentorship and fellowship with believers. The players not only have a chance to hone their athletic abilities, but also a chance to grow in their faith alongside their teammates.
“My favorite part of coaching soccer is being able to spend more time with these young men. I love being able to help them grow in how they play the game, and I really enjoy watching them play. Having that time to invest in them and talk about their lives is such a privilege,” said coach Gromacki.
Indeed, soccer is a great sport and a great avenue for building and strengthening friendships. As the team begins conditioning and practice, it will be exciting to see how the players encourage each other, and how they reflect Christ once the season kicks off.