Freshman Sujit Hegde makes his mark on the JV boys soccer team

Freshman, Sujit Hegde works on his soccer skills outside of practice.

Sujit Hegde

Freshman, Sujit Hegde works on his soccer skills outside of practice.

Nirav Akkanapragada, Sports Writer

Season after season, spectators fill the bleachers to watch the RM boys junior varsity soccer team play. A new addition to the team is freshman Sujit Hedge, who is experiencing what it is like to be a rocket athlete for the first time this year.

From a young age, Hegde was an avid soccer fan. Playing for the school team is a dream come true for him. “When I was six, my dad put me in a rec league for fun. I fell in love with the sport,” Hegde said. Now as a freshman in high school, he is working hard to make his mark on the JV team. “I just want to be the best I can be,” Hegde said.

Though this is his first year as a member, starting as a center defender, Hegde already thinks like a veteran, especially under pressure. “Meditation helps me focus and think about the task at hand,” he said. 

Mindset also plays a role in how his game will go. “If you think you are going to lose, you will lose. Thinking and projecting the confidence that you will win goes a long way, ” Hegde said. “Practice makes perfect, so I just practice more and I will become less nervous in the game.”

Hegde’s positive player mindset does not go unnoticed by coaches and teammates. “His work ethic is unbelievable,” JV boys soccer coach Chamara Wijeratne said. He always puts forth is best effort and uses every minute he has on the field to improve. “He’s very coachable…if I ask him to do something he’ll do it.” 

In addition to practice, in preparation for big games, it is common for Hedge to have his favorite food, pasta. “It gives me the energy to focus on the game and it tastes delicious,” Hegde said.

Unlike many athletes, Hegde’s competitiveness does not stem from winning. “Winning is obviously great but the best part about the competition is that it’s fun and it makes us all better competitors,” Hegde said. 

However, he does enjoy the games when he plays well or the team pulls out a win. “It gives me a sense of pride that everything I practiced for can be shown on the field. I sometimes go out to celebrate with my family and most of the time I just talk with my friends,” Hegde said.

It is hard to balance sports and school, especially one as demanding as soccer, but Hegde manages to do so, even noting that playing soccer has made him a better person and student. “It has helped me learn to manage my time as well as how to work harder and smarter,” Hegde said. “It’s shown me that hard work pays off and that you have to work hard in order to get something you want.”

Though Hegde’s love for soccer is an important part of who he is, he does not see himself making a life out of it. “I would rather pursue an academic career,” Hegde said.