Undefeated No More

After a close loss to West High, the Little Hawks look to move on for the second half of the season.


Jim Geerdes

Hunter Teduits dribbles past a Washington defender on April 17th.

Jonathan House, Sports Editor

After finishing off as the state runner up last year, the City High men’s soccer team started the year off perfect again and with high expectations.The Little Hawks were 6-0 and once again ranked number one in the state before falling to West High last Friday, losing to the Trojans for the first time in four years. The setback is one that the Little Hawks did not expect, however they hope it will serve as a learning experience.

“If anything, it’s just more motivation for us to work harder in practice, to focus more in games and learn our mistakes that we make and fix those,” team captain Jonah Dancer ‘18 said after the West High loss.

City High head coach, Jose Fajardo, says that he liked the pressure of being number one.

“If we want to be state champions, if we want to be good at anything we do, not only here but in life, we have to have that pressure [of being unbeaten and being number one] on our shoulders,” Fajardo said.

The Little Hawks started the season highly ranked and cruised to many early wins. City High beat Waterloo East 8-0, Cedar Rapids Jefferson 10-1, and Dubuque Senior 7-0 early in the season. Last week, however, the Little Hawks struggled, falling behind quickly against then tenth ranked Cedar Rapids Washington before eventually winning 2-1. Following this close win, the Hawks proceeded to be shut out by West High, 1-0 on Friday, April 21st. It was City’s first regular season loss since May of 2015. Last season, City High’s only loss was in the state championship game. According to Coach Fajardo, one of City’s biggest problems throughout the past few weeks has been scoring on its chances, something he believes the Little Hawks were unable to do in their close game against Washington and then in the loss to the Trojans.

“That’s part of the game, it’s not how many chances you create, but how many chances you put away,” Fajardo said.

So far this year, City High has had to put seven new players on the field, with only Rasmus Schlutter ‘17, Sam Tomek ‘17, Jonah Dancer ‘18, and Jackson Meyer ‘18 being the returning starters. Many players have had to step up into positions that they haven’t played before, and players that were on the roster but didn’t get on the field much have been playing more.

“I think there’s been a number of players who have really found themselves on the field. There’s been a couple players last year who got some playing time on the team but didn’t get too much on the field, especially during big games that’ve really stepped up this year,” team captain and four year varsity player Rasmus Schlutter ‘17 said.

As a four year player, Schlutter says that the four co-captains, all the returning starters, have different roles on the team.

“I’ve been on the team for four years now and I’ve kind have been in a lot of different roles so I’m kind of aware of what it’s like to not play for a bit, what it’s like to be frustrated in practice, or to just do well for the first couple weeks and then not get to play as much,” Schlutter said. “I like to be a supportive player and a supportive captain.”

Schlutter emphasized that work ethic of all the captains and everyone on the team is vital to the group’s success.

“I think all of us really want to just demonstrate that to be on this team, to be good on this team, it takes more than just raw skill, it takes more than just luck, it takes like a level of hardwork that each and everyone has to commit to,” Schlutter said.

One of the new players, Adam Engelbrecht ‘20 has had to adjust to playing varsity this year. In his first season, he is already starting and playing many minutes most games for the Little Hawks.

“The pace of the ball is a lot quicker, there are a lot more quick and short passes, and it’s just a lot faster so just getting in the mindset of as soon as you get the ball, you have to know what you want to do with it, that’s the main thing,” Engelbrecht said.

City High has been able to find a lot of offense from its junior class this season. Jonah Dancer ‘18 has led the way for the Little Hawks early with seven goals. Cameron Chavez ‘18 is second on the team with five goals. Brothers Hunter and Ethan teDuits ‘18 both have seen their roles increase this season, and Ethan has stepped up to lead the team in assists.

As the season progresses and the Little Hawks look to overcome their first loss, they hope that their team chemistry can help them out.

“Team chemistry is great. None of us is more important than the team and everyone knows and respects that,” Fajardo said. “Having chemistry helps you more during bad times than during good times.”

The Little Hawks hope to rebound quickly from the West High loss to get back on the road to the playoffs and what Schlutter and the team hope will end as a championship season.

“Now we have to get our butts on the field again and get ready to go back to number one,” Fajardo said.