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Sports Spotlight: Niko Lambrianidis, John Mitkevicius, and Brian Lui

By Denebola
Published: September 2008

By Josh Podrid

As a new school year begins, many athletes are eager to start playing their fall sports. For senior soccer captains Niko Lambrianidis, Brian Lui, and John Mitkevicius, their season has been going on all year. To describe these captains as hard-working would certainly be an understatement.

In the off season, Lui, South’s starting center and outside midfielder, played for multiple club teams, including Bay State Soccer. He has also played in year-round leagues in various other districts.

Lambrianidis, South’s starting sweeper, tries to train every day he can. “I train on my own in the weight room, and then I go for a run outside, generally between 6-9 miles long. I also do weight training and attend local soccer training camps, Lambrianidis said.

Mitkevicious, who mainly plays defense, also plays soccer year-round; He has trained with the Hammer Soccer Club in the winter and spring while also doing indoor and outdoor track as cross training.

The captain’s extremely hard work ethic boosts the morale of the team, and their enthusiasm has made a strong impact as they head into the bulk of the season. As with any other sport, preparation is the key factor of success, and the players hope their preparation will result in a winning season this year.

Despite a rough start, the three captains are still very confident in their abilities. “We are still trying to build the team chemistry, but once we get our momentum, our season will be good and we will hopefully make the tournament, Lui said.

Lambrianidis has very high hopes and expectations for the year as well. South showed a lot of potential in its off season, tying strong opponents like Newton North and Attleboro High School in exibition games.

As with many other sports, Mitkevicious believes that once they get past the beginning of the season “bump and eliminate individual mistakes, they will dominate their division and rise straight to the top.

The captain’s leadership on and off the field is phenomenal. “The captains are extremely helpful to the younger and more inexperienced kids, junior Mark Garrity said.

They are known to be extremely vocal on the field, increasing team communication, something they feel is important to team success.  Although things have not gone their way so far, they still maintain a positive outlook.

To begin their drive to the top, the captains need the younger members on the team to step up and work hard day in and day out. Hard work and focus will definitely be a key to success to the team’s season.

All three captains have certain goals for their careers after high school. They have each attended college camps and practices, getting familiar with the coaches of various teams, all in an effort to find out what it would be like to play college soccer.  Both varsity and junior varsity have multiple games each week, and they encourage anyone to come and show their support.

To date, the boys have been met with stiff opposition, and have suffered 5 consecutive losses. Their next game is Wednesday against Boston Latin They continue to remain upbeat, however, and are focusing on the strengths each player brings to the team.

The captains’ goal is to improve consistently and work on the team’s dynamic and cooperative play, without worrying about the score.

Overall, the team is demonstrating great potential that needs to be realized on the field. With such dedicated captains leading the effort, it seems only a matter of time before that will happen.

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