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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Athlete of the Issue: Jared Gray

Luke Kim

“Skilled, serious and motivated”: freshman Momo Tonthat used these three words to describe the varsity boys soccer team’s star center-mid, Jared Gray. Though true, these descriptors only scratch the surface of the senior’s undeniable soccer prowess and experience.

Gray is no stranger to the atmosphere of the intense soccer field. He started playing AYSO at five years old before moving on to club soccer, which he still plays during Poly’s off-season. At Poly, he has been a valued member of Poly’s varsity boys soccer team since his freshman year. (He also played volleyball as a sophomore and junior.)

Over the past four years, Gray’s confidence and ability to read the pitch have only improved. Gray plays center midfielder, one of the most important and versatile positions in the game. He is able to defend the goal, score and make accurate passes. Head coach Dan Sheridan called him the team’s “anchor” due to his ability to keep the team grounded.

Sheridan emphasized Gray’s knack for adaptability: “My favorite quality that Gray possesses is his ability to learn from his mistakes. He constantly adjusts to what the other team is doing and finds an answer to the defense playing against him.”

Gray demonstrated his ability to perform under pressure at the end of a close game against Mark Keppel. With time running out late in the game, Gray netted the ball to secure a 4-2 victory.

As a team captain with four goals and five assists this season, Gray’s role is invaluable. His commitment to improving the team’s focus and enthusiasm has helped them to keep a positive attitude and a 3-1-2 league record.

Gray’s passion for the sport is reflected not just during games but also during taxing practices. Junior Evan Woo stated, “He never slacks off, even when the coach isn’t watching. I think his attitude constantly motivates our team to be devoted to getting better.”

Sheridan said, “Gray is an incredibly hard worker who pushes his teammates to be better all the time. I am proud of his leadership on a daily basis.”

Determined, humble and team-oriented are three more words to describe Gray.

“He’s been kind from day one,” freshman Ethan Greenberg said. “Even though there is an age gap between the two of us, it doesn’t make a difference. I was new to the team, and he took me under his wing and increased my confidence as a player and a teammate.”

Sheridan also appreciates Gray’s accountability. “Jared often takes the blame when things go wrong and deflects credit when things are going well. He is a quiet leader who leads by example and is essential to our team’s success. I am extremely happy that I have had an opportunity to coach him over the past four years,” Sheridan said.

Gray will certainly be missed next season.

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About the Contributors
Devan Cook, Student Contributor
Luke Kim
Luke Kim, Sports Editor
Grade: 12 Years on Staff: 3 Fun Fact: My personal 32 oz water bottle chugging record is 8.5 seconds. Favorite Movie: Top Gun: Maverick
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