Heading to the top


Varsity soccer is one of Jesuit High School’s most dominant sports. But before the players make it to the varsity team, they have to get on to Coach Josh Palone’s junior varsity team. Coach Palone prepares his players with the proper skills and mindset that will be needed for varsity, but it’s difficult to get onto the junior varsity team, as only half the kids who tryout will make it.

“It’s very hard; 95 kids come out but only 44 spots are available,” said Coach Palone. “It’s a pretty competitive team to be on.”

Tryouts are the first step to making it on the team and one of Coach Palone’s many worries. August through October, he focuses on Jesuit admissions; September through December, he coaches Jesuit soccer; but during the whole year, he coaches for Union FC. Coach Palone constantly has to go back and forth between soccer and work.

“I wear a few hats,” said Coach Palone.

Although he is busy during the fall with admissions, the soccer season only spans a short 90 days. Coach Palone pushes his athletes to beat other teams, especially their rivals Rio Americano High School and Davis High School. Unfortunately, the junior varsity gold team lost in the semi-finals last year to Davis, but Coach Palone thinks the loss may help to lead them to victory next season.

“Losing is a part of it,” said Coach Palone. “These youth athletes need to understand what lessons can be learned when you lose.”

He hopes to use this knowledge to his advantage to get to State and perhaps Nationals. And even if players do not win on junior varsity, at least they learn the skills that are needed for varsity.