Renegades soccer dominating the field


Cassidy Johnson

Renegades soccer dominating the field

By Sports & Health

Captain Will Montes, a senior creative writing major, has been quietly rebuilding the Renegades’ soccer team roster since last fall. 

The rebooted team has been up and running for several weeks and has high hopes for a strong season this semester after narrowly missing qualifying for the championship last fall, according to Montes.

“[The team] came really close last year,” Montes said. “We were one [win] out from the championship and we lost in a shoot out. This year, I want the team to win it all in this league.”

The team competes in the Chicago Fire and Recreation league’s eight-game season, which is different from the outdoor league they were involved with the last time around. The Renegades won their first two games 10-3 and 8-5, making them officially undefeated.

“It is looking a lot better than we looked last semester,” said Ryan Darbro, co-captain and music major. “I think we are going to do very well.”

Darbro said playing with a fresh roster and in an organization such as the Chicago Fire and Recreation league is helping the team achieve its goal of finishing with a positive record. The team also prefers playing indoors as opposed to the outdoor league they were a part of last semester, he said. 

“It is better than the outdoor season in the fall,” Darbro said. “That was more of a Sunday recreational league, and this is more competitive, and that is what I think the team was looking for.”

Co-captain Nic Ten Grotenhuis, a freshman business & entrepreneurship major, said he got involved with the team last fall because he played regularly in high school and wanted to continue the sport at Columbia.

“As a team, we probably want to be winning, but it’s mostly for fun and for exercise,” Ten Grotenhuis said. “Getting to know people on the team has been [great, too]. I met some people on the team last year that I started a band with, and I thought that was pretty cool.”

The league is a co-ed one and requires two female athletes to play every game in order for the Renegades to compete on a weekly basis, Montes said. 

Halle Mariner, a junior cinema art + science major, is one of the team’s female players. She said she was looking for a way to be more active at the college and ultimately decided to join the Renegades on the soccer field.

“Right now we are really getting to know each other,” Mariner said. “There are a few people that are new, but knowing each other works really well. We work really well together as a team. I think I want to see that growing more, and communication is key.” 

Montes said the indoor soccer league plays with boards, which means the ball never goes out of bounds, making the game more intense and competitive because the clock does not stop.

“I forgot how fast indoor soccer is,” Mariner said. “It’s good, just a lot more fast-paced. We are out there for the entirety of the 28-minute periods and it’s kind of difficult. We can’t run too much because we don’t want to get burned out and be exhausted for the rest of the game. I am trying to get used to that again.” 

Mariner said the male players are more competitive in their own way, and it would be nice to have other girls to diversify the competition.

Montes said bringing in more female players would help the Renegades achieve what is a main focus for him in the future: recruiting enough players to create a competitive recreational team.

“I just want the team to stay together so that it’s not completely for new people,” Montes said. “You have a core group of people so you can expand and make multiple teams. My goal is to have multiple teams in different leagues.”

Mariner said the team is still accepting players interested in joining the team.

“We are a fun group of people,” Mariner said. “We enjoy playing soccer for fun, but we also like to be competitive and win as well. We welcome everybody.”

The Renegades play every Sunday and practice every Tuesday at 9 p.m. at the Flats at East-West University, 829 S. Wabash Ave.