Brooks prepares for varsity soccer, hopes for bigger role

Sophomore+Jaiden+Brooks+plays+goalkeeper+during+a+game+in+the+2017-2018+soccer+season.+Outside+of+playing+for+the+Streaks%2C+Brooks+also+plays+for+Soccer+Organization+Charlottesville+Area+%28SOCA%29+and+Shenandoah+Valley+United+%28SVU%29.+
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Brooks prepares for varsity soccer, hopes for bigger role

Sophomore Jaiden Brooks plays goalkeeper during a game in the 2017-2018 soccer season. Outside of playing for the Streaks, Brooks also plays for Soccer Organization Charlottesville Area (SOCA) and Shenandoah Valley United (SVU).

Sophomore Jaiden Brooks plays goalkeeper during a game in the 2017-2018 soccer season. Outside of playing for the Streaks, Brooks also plays for Soccer Organization Charlottesville Area (SOCA) and Shenandoah Valley United (SVU).

Ashley Iscoa

Sophomore Jaiden Brooks plays goalkeeper during a game in the 2017-2018 soccer season. Outside of playing for the Streaks, Brooks also plays for Soccer Organization Charlottesville Area (SOCA) and Shenandoah Valley United (SVU).

Ashley Iscoa

Ashley Iscoa

Sophomore Jaiden Brooks plays goalkeeper during a game in the 2017-2018 soccer season. Outside of playing for the Streaks, Brooks also plays for Soccer Organization Charlottesville Area (SOCA) and Shenandoah Valley United (SVU).

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After last soccer season’s conclusion, sophomore goalkeeper Jaiden Brooks had mixed emotions about how it had ended. Heading into the spring season, Brooks hopes to continue his personal development and move forward.

“Our season went really [well]. We developed a lot [throughout] the season, [but] it ended on a somewhat negative note,” Brooks said. “[This season] working hard, dedication and persevering over the certain problems during the season [will help us be successful again].”

The negative note Brooks was referring to was a 3-2 loss to Patrick Henry in the regional quarterfinals, eliminating their chances of making it to the state competition as they had hoped.

“Hopefully we make it to states this year, depending on if we’re good enough,” Brooks said. “I’m pretty sure we’ll do really well this season even without the seniors that graduated last year.”

To prepare for this season, Brooks has been playing for the Soccer Organization Charlottesville Area (SOCA) Elite Travel team in the HHS offseason. He has also played for Shenandoah Valley United in past seasons. Throughout his time playing soccer, he has always played goalie.

“Playing [for] SOCA is preparing me a lot [for this season]. I first got into [recreational] soccer when I was five years old, [and] I’ve been playing ever since,” Brooks said. “[However, I’m still] learning new things.”

Within the school soccer season, Brooks is hoping to make more of an impact in his second varsity season and step into a bigger role on the team.

“This year I want to try to step up. Hopefully I get the starting spot [for goalkeeper], but if I don’t, I’ll be a backup,” Brooks said. “I’m hoping to get a good amount of playing time. [My personal goal] is [to try] not to get scored on more than three times in a game.”

Brooks believes the team has the potential for success, as long as his teammates are willing to put in the work and try new things to get past struggles.  

“[Skill-wise, the team] is looking okay. We might struggle a little in the offensive end. Hopefully we change our formation this year so we don’t get out possessed,” Brooks said.

As a goalkeeper, Brooks deals with the immense amount of pressure put on him by ignoring the thoughts going through his head and just doing what is natural for him.

“I can’t really describe [how I feel in the goal], but I’m used to the feeling. It’s a lot of pressure,” Brooks said. “I don’t have to think about it, [I] just block it out.”

In the future, Brooks hopes to play college soccer. For now, he is focused on helping his team achieve a state title from the defensive side of the field.

“[I want to] making it to states this year and win it. That’s the goal.” Brooks said.

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