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Senior Sanchez helping boys soccer team forge identity
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Erick Sanchez is a senior and team captain on the Dawson County High School boys soccer team. His leadership has helped the team improve over the course of this season.

The past two seasons have not been easy for the Dawson County High School boys soccer team, but senior team captain Erick Sanchez is helping the group gradually build a sense of cohesion and consistency through his leadership.

Sanchez has seen first-hand the struggles the team has faced in recent years, with the Tigers having won only two matches over the last two seasons. 

Despite those difficult times, Sanchez has also seen potential in the team and has worked to help motivate his teammates to perform. 

Dawson County has made significant progress this season by winning three times, drawing twice and keeping themselves relatively competitive in their four losses.

This success can be attributed to both Sanchez’s growth as a leader and his familiarity with head coach Patrick Muenchem, who Sanchez and many of his siblings have played for since middle school.

 “I try telling [the team] what to focus on doing better at practice or in the next game,” Sanchez said. “[Things like] communication, better passes, building up the play and not wanting to boot everything out and all over the place.”

While the progress the team has made is apparent, the Tigers are currently in one of their toughest patches this season. 

In the past three matches, Dawson County has lost twice and most recently lost their region opener to West Hall in a 5-1 defeat.

One area that Sanchez said has contributed to the drop in form has been a lack of communication between players on the pitch, especially when the team gains possession.

While Sanchez has been able to contribute a certain level of communication from his midfield position, he is encouraging others in the team to take initiative and help the team work as one.

“We don’t communicate as well [as we need], especially with more region games coming up,” Sanchez said. “We can keep up with these teams we are playing, we really can.”

In addition to communication, Sanchez is also working on helping develop the in-game decision making of his teammates, especially freshmen who may be hesitant to play boldly.

These decisions will be critical in pushing the team to compete against teams in their region and to sustain long-term success.

All of these leadership skills that Sanchez has developed over time will not fade once he graduates this spring. 

Sanchez plans on entering the medical field as a physician assistant, specializing in trauma. Much like his soccer career was influenced by watching his brothers play for Muenchen, Sanchez was drawn to the medical field by his older sister.

“In the medical field…you’re gonna need a leader and somebody to let you know what you gotta do and how you should do it,” Sanchez said. “I’ve always just wanted to make this world a better place.”