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Student News Site of Odyssey Charter Middle School

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Whiz Kids

Young but talented soccer team finishes strong in successful season

After starting the season with a 1-2 record, Odyssey Middle School’s boys soccer team decided it was time to make a change, and change it did. The Owls went unbeaten the rest of the way, winning six games and tying once to finish the season at 7-2-1.

The team, which consisted of seven 7th-graders and 12 6th-graders, had many talented young players this season.

Braedon Smith, a 7th-grader, led the Owls in goals with 12. In five of the team’s wins, he scored twice in each game. Smith scored some of his goals on headers, a skill he said he practices at home with his dad.

Joseph DiMichele scored five goals this season for Odyssey and also led the team in assists with six. DiMichele was asked if he was worried about being a 6th-grader and playing against 7th- and 8th-graders.

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“A little, mostly because a couple of them are bigger,” said DiMichele. “But it doesn’t really matter for size, it just matters on the skill level.”

Wilson Verdugo, a 7th-grader, was another key player for the Owls, contributing five assists and two goals. Verdugo said he knew he had to work harder this year, since the Owls had no 8th-graders on their roster.

Caleb Nelson, a 7th-grader, scored three goals for Odyssey, and also added an assist. One of his goals helped the Owls defeat First State Montessori Academy in a close 3-2 contest, with Smith and DiMichele scoring the other two goals.

On the defensive side of the field, 6th-grader Ali Daho Bachir protected the net for Odyssey. Daho Bachir recorded three saves in a 5-1 win over Conrad Schools of Science, four saves in a 3-0 win over First State Montessori, five saves in a 4-2 win over McCullough, and five saves in a 2-1 win over George Read.

Three other players scored two goals for the Owls this season: 6th-graders Aydin Acquah and Boden Davis, and 7th-grader Daniel Boyce.

On October 17, the Owls faced Springer Middle School. Before that game, Smith said, “This will be our most challenging game this season.” The team was able to hang in against the team of 8th-graders, tying them 0-0.

The Owls also couldn’t have had a successful season without their head coach, Nick Manolakos, who was with them every step of the way.

With an impressive record of 7-2-1 and so many young, talented players, the Owls hope to do even better next year.

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About the Contributors
Reda Bibi, Staff Writer
Reda is a 7th grader at Odyssey Charter Middle School. He has two siblings who he spends the majority of his time with. In his free time you can catch him doing a variety of things, such as getting caught up on missing work, playing video games, or just playing a sport. Reda likes to play many sports, including soccer, basketball, and baseball. In the summer you can catch him taking a walk, going to the beach, or just scrolling through his phone. However, his favorite thing to do is catch up on sleep.
Lavon Williams
Lavon Williams, Staff Writer
Lavon Williams is a 7th grader at Odyssey Charter. He enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and football in his free time. One of his favorite things to do is play sports. He also likes to eat, and his favorite foods are fried chicken, pizza, and cheeseburgers. When he is older he wants to either be in the NFL, NBA, Premier League, or La Liga. One time when he was 4 years old his dad made him and his twin brother play T-ball. They did not enjoy it very much. Just from what we know about Lavon, a bright future awaits him.
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    Daniel BoyceDec 18, 2023 at 5:06 pm