Boys soccer preview

An interview with Head Coach Paul Zubb


Varsity roster: Kofi Bungyei ’23 Max Castro ’24 Martin Clements ’23 Louis Dicastri ’24 Brenden Dons ’23 Anthony Flasck ’24 Robert Griffith ’23 Almir Hajdarevic ’24 Paxton Hengesbach ’24 Hector Jimenez ’23 Andrew Meints ’23 Dario Nardini ’23 Christopher Rocha ’23 Isaac Simon ’23 Jeffrey Zhang ’24 Alejandro Ceballos ’23 Zayd Majzoub ’23 Jacob Ivaldi ’23 Stefan Dabic ’25 Oliver Bozkho ’23

The Jones boy’s soccer team began their fall season on Tuesday, Aug. 23. So far their record is 2-2. The following is a preview of the season with Head Coach Paul Zubb. Questions and answers have been lightly edited due to space constraints. 

Who are some notable graduating players from last year and how are you planning on replacing them?

There was a large group. The exact numbers I’m not sure of, but all of them will be missed. We had Joaquin Garcia, Jake Underwood, Jonathan Lang, and Patrick Krol. The junior class is exceptional. So a lot of good players, we have a lot of depth. We have eight returning seniors so hopefully they can hold that responsibility and do really well. I have all the faith in the world in them. We have two very good goalkeepers that will compete for the spot. And then we have one sophomore on the team this year and I’m looking forward to him stepping in.

Are there any other players you are looking forward to seeing impact the team?

I’m just happy we have all these seniors coming back. Brendan Dons is going to be a big help. We have Kofi Bugyei, Andrew Meints, but there’s a lot of kids. A lot of players are excited.

Are there any games you or the team is looking forward to this season?

This will be the hardest schedule that the soccer team is playing since I’ve been here. We’re going to play Aug. 23 vs Muchin, then we play St. Ignatius on Aug. 25, Niles West on Aug. 27, then we play Evanston in Evanston, then we play Payton and Lake Forest Academy in Evanston, so it’s a tournament we’re in. So this schedule, by far, was the hardest schedule the varsity team has played since I can remember. So it’ll be very competitive. I think with the team we have and how talented the team is, hopefully, we’ll enjoy the schedule.

Last year, the boys soccer team finished 11-5-2 and ranked #5 in CPS. How are you planning to build on that and improve this year?

I’m just trying to improve on myself, coaching more of a rotation of players so there’s more energy on the field. One thing we’ve done a bit more this year is fitness. Additionally, I don’t want anyone playing injured because injuries are tough to come back from from personal experience. And with the depth that we have we can make sure everyone’s healthy and ready to go.

Will there be a change in style of play or coaching from last year to this year?

Starting practice is definitely different from last year. There’s a special keep away drill that we do that I’ve done for five years in a row, and now I’m changing that completely. So a little more movement at the beginning of practice, a little bit of fitness. My practices have changed and I want to evolve with the talent that we have, so practices are different, there’s more movement and throwing different problems at the kids for them to solve on the field.

Do you have any expectations for the team? A floor? A ceiling? What matters to you?

I mean, we took second in the conference last year. We took second to Washington and Washington won the city championship and then took third in state in their class. So yeah, hopefully winning our conference and you know, we’ll start there.

Anything else you would like to add on?

We still have the three teams. We have the freshman-sophomore, the JV and the varsity teams. And we have about give or take 20 players on each team. The returning coaching staff is there and they’re very important to the success of the team. So the expectations are that coaches do a really good job, and for the kids, it’s important to have the coaching stuff in play.