Story by: middle-school journalist Courtney Nelson
Since he was six years old, eighth-grader Max Friedland has devoted his weeks and weekends to honing his skills and training to improve in the game of soccer. Friedland, who was born in New York, originally began playing soccer because of his family and friends’ enjoyment of the sport. “My dad and sister were the ones to get me interested in soccer from an early age,” Friedland said.
Friedland plays on a team set up by the Sarasota Football Club, Porto. The team name usually changes throughout the soccer seasons and are named after famous and well-known soccer teams.
“I practice throughout fall, spring and winter, on each Wednesday of the week, and compete in games every Saturday,” Friedland said.
During practice, Friedland practices teamwork and leadership. On top of the actual gameplay experience, he also practices defensive positions such as the goalie and offensive positions for scoring goals. He practices the wider variety to enjoy the sport. He and his team have worked hard and have enjoyed a winning record.
“Team Sports I think are great, they give a good way to exercise, and I like that aspect. But working together through the ups and down, and knowing that nothing will always go smoothly is an important and a big part of learning,” his mother Anne Friedland said.
While he plays, Friedland feels as if soccer has been an outlet for him to get exercise and become aware of his surroundings. Being part of a tight-knit team has let him get closer to other players and classmates and learn more about his teammates. He is a pivotal member of his team, trying his hardest in playing and supporting his team who, in turn, are able to support him.
“When I go to his soccer matches I know he puts in the effort, even when they are aware that they won’t always be successful,” his mother Anne Friedland said.
When Friedland isn’t playing soccer, he enjoys playing golf, generally over the summer break when soccer season is over for him. Friedland plans to continue playing soccer and developing his teamwork and soccer skills while carrying a pleasant attitude towards friendly competition.