WMC’S Boys Soccer Team Takes on Spain


This past July, West Morris Central’s boys soccer team went to Spain for the second time in two years. They had the chance to compete against Spanish teams and participate in practices prior to their three matches. There were two matches in Barcelona, one in Madrid, and practices in Valencia. They had an equal opportunity to play soccer and experience Spain’s culture as a team.

Head varsity Coach Steve Cukar also states that it was not about the score but about “going there to compete against good competition” and getting an idea of how other teams play. The Spanish teams were hard to beat but, in turn, the team learned a lot. Unfortunately, they tied two to two, and lost four to one and lost eight to nothing. But, again, it was about the experience not the score. Moreover, Coach Cukar stated that the point of the trip was to “to bond, get to know each other, which is important because if you know your team on and off the field the team cohesion is even stronger.” And this statement is sure to follow the soccer team into their season.

The team flew into Barcelona and continued their journey to Valencia and Madrid. From Madrid they took a day trip to Toledo. The team viewed each city’s most famous and major landmarks. There were also plenty of time to relax on the beach, bond, and experience a new culture. Tommy O’keefe, a junior on the soccer team, stated, “I got to see so many different places and I got to meet all kinds of new and different people.” The experience is truly eye-opening, culturally. 

The last two trips done by Coach Cukar the players have chosen to travel to Spain over other countries, primarily due to the fact that many of them take Spanish as a course. While they get to practice soccer going to Spain also allows them to practice Spanish, which many have studied for years. One of Coach Cukar’s favorite parts of the trip is “watching the players take what they learned in class and applying it to the actual culture.” 

The soccer team’s trip is beneficial on an educational level, physical level and emotional level. But this does not mean that there are no other options for the next trip. There are many other places the team can go to get a similar experience of bonding and learning from natives. Other countries means more competition and a different experiences culturally. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that the importance is in the bonds created on this trip which are carried to the next season, through communication on the field as a team. 

if you know your team on and off the field the team cohesion is even stronger”

— Coach Cukar