The first time Berkeley Prep’s soccer teams took a weekend away, all of the current players were not yet born. But in its 26th year, according to girl’s coach Ken Roberts, the Buccaneers girls had a good weekend in Boca Raton, earning a 1-1 draw against Plantation American Heritage and a 4-0 win against Boca Raton St. Andrew’s.
Both Berkeley squads took the trip south, defeating St. Andrew’s 5-1 and falling to American Heritage 2-0, but Roberts believes the results are not the most important thing on the trip, but more the increased chemistry and camaraderie that comes from the weekend the teams spend together.
“It’s a boost for the teams as far as it increases team chemistry a lot quicker than just showing up for games and practices,” Roberts said. “They basically live together for the weekend, but also starting back with (Dave) Zimmerman and I, we always treated it as a program, not a girls team and a guys team, they become supporters of each other, and this trip starts to emphasize that, especially early in the season the kids are voluntarily showing up to the other games when they’re not schedule to play, and that builds up a lot of camaraderie and school pride, and that pays off later.”
Roberts estimates the value of the trip is equitable to playing 10 games at home in terms of the development. The trip allows younger players to become better assimilated into their new squad, and gives them a chance to experience the sort of road-trips that can be commonplace when the region playoffs come at the end of the season.
“It helps prepare the kids to know how to travel,” Roberts said. “We get some of the young kids into the program this way, and to recognize that the trip is about having fun, but it’s also about the business of the team, and that gives the opportunity to give them that experience before it means everything at the end of the year.”