With the colder weather and Christmas decorations making their annual appearances comes the beginning of the high school soccer season. Multiple times a week, Highlands County soccer teams represent their respective cities across the state. Some matches may be as close to home as Frostproof, while other times the team has to make a long journey to cities as far as Sarasota. Despite this, it is an exciting time for those involved, as they get to spend their time playing their favorite sport.

For me, it is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Being able to represent Sebring in a game of soccer, being watched by fans of the sport, is something that I am blessed to experience. It is a huge obligation to practice everyday for two hours at a time, but it is completely worth it when you get to play on game day. Being a part of the Sebring High School soccer team has been a blessing beyond words.

Some readers may recall my column from mid-July, in which I wrote about the small crowds we play in front of. I wrote in that column that it is a demoralizing experience considering how much work we put into practice. Players would work hard at practice for nearly two hours, despite other obligations, and would see their efforts witnessed by a handful of people. However, things seem to have changed slightly during the few home soccer games that Sebring High School has played.

At the girl’s soccer games, I have noticed a slight increase in the number of people that were in attendance. For the only home game that my team has played, I have also noticed this increase in support. Seeing this trend in attendance is something that brings joy to me and both teams on the field. It gives us more motivation to play our very best and makes our hard work even more worthwhile. To anybody that has been to a Sebring soccer game, your attendance is more than appreciated by the soccer program.

If you have yet to attend a Sebring soccer game, I strongly encourage you to do so. They are a great way to spend an afternoon at a low price. These athletes spend countless hours perfecting their athletic ability to be there, do homework even after long practices, and get home late just to play their favorite sport.

As I previously mentioned, attending these games makes these practices worthwhile for the athlete. Not only do you support the athletes on the field, but you also show your pride in our hometown. Just as we support the United States National Team in a variety of international competitions, we should support our city’s team. A full stadium means that it is full of people supporting their community in intrastate competitions. For anybody that might not have any close connection to the team, the schedule for any high school soccer game can be found with a quick Google search.

At the end of the day, you do not have to attend every single game to support the local high school’s soccer program. However, by attending a single match, you help the athletes on the field in more ways than you can imagine.

Miguel Arceo is a student athlete for Sebring High School.