The boys middle school soccer team at Veritas Prep has shown that hard work and dedication pay off as they add another state championship title to their list of accomplishments. This is the 5th title for Coach Kevin Kinerk and his team of fifth graders.
Kinerk moved to the Arcadia area six years ago and was asked to coach the soccer team when his son Beck was in 6th grade. He had previous soccer coaching experience with St. Francis Sports League. He attributes his five wins to the demographics of Arcadia and a local interest in club soccer.
“The location of Veritas lends itself to many families that embrace and support club soccer players. We have benefited from that influx…I love coaching my kids, and seeing them play with their school friends. I also like keeping it light and fun and being ‘one of the fellas’,” Kinerk said.
The soccer season started in late October and concluded in early February. This year’s team had 20 players.
“I think for many of them it is fun to play with your school friends and come together as a team… it’s great to see them work toward a successful final goal,” Kinerk said.
Along with traditional practices, the team also plays futsal, which is a Brazilian indoor soccer game that focuses on keeping the ball on the ground and learning quick passing between players. One of their pre-game rituals is to take turns counting down the team with a “go Falcons” cheer, which Kinerk said gets the team amped up and ready to play.
Kinerk said that this year’s playoff competition had increased, so the kids felt great to be in first place.
“They love playing together, making quick passes and great finishes. We have many great players that make it beautiful to watch at times,” Kinerk said.
The final championship has been held at Chandler Prep in Chandler for the past three years. The team celebrates at the Barro’s Pizza located across the street.
“We have taken over [Barro’s] now for three years – each one a victory. There are many selfies taken with the trophy,” Kinerk said.
After coaching at Veritas for the past seven years, Kinerk plans on handing over the reins after next year and possibly going on to coach at the high school level.
Congratulations on your win, Falcons!