STCC soccer players pull together to buy teammate a pair of shoes

Springfield Technical Community College soccer players show off their cleats. (Photo courtesy of STCC)

SPRINGFIELD – Needed: Soccer cleats, never worn.
A Springfield Technical Community College soccer team member played most of the season with cleats held together with duct tape. During one game, an opposing player slid into him, ripping the shoes open. He had an extra pair that also was in bad shape. He returned to practice with his old cleats newly taped together.
The team recognized he needed help.
“He’s one of the best players we have,” said captain Siervo Jimenez, of Springfield, who spoke on behalf of the team. “I don’t know what his family situation is. He’s been playing with these cleats. They’ve been through it all. They were just taped together.”
The 15 men on the team decided to pool their money to buy a good pair of soccer cleats. The player in need has large feet, so it wasn’t easy to find the right pair. The students put in what they could afford – anywhere from $5 to $20. They had nearly $200 to spend, which can buy a very nice pair of soccer shoes.
The player who received the gift asked not to be identified, but expressed his gratitude.
“I really want to show my appreciation and love to my teammates for what they’ve done for me. We all came together just a few months ago from different paths. We’ve grown as a team and as a family, so I’m very thankful to have been a part of such a very special group,” he said.
Teammate Mustafa Rasheed, of Westfield, spoke about the special bond the players had this past season. They made it to the NJCAA Region XXI semi-finals.
“I played in high school. I played in different leagues,” Rasheed said. “I never played with a team like this. We are connected as one person. If someone needs cleats, we will make sure they get them.”
Jimenez, the team captain, said he also felt a strong connection to his teammates.
“You can play soccer, but to become an actual team, it takes a lot of work,” Jimenez said. “We have the right pieces here. I think that is pretty much what it came down to. We have been like a family. So, when we saw that one of our brothers needed help, we didn’t think twice. We said, let’s get together and make this happen.” – Courtesy of Springfield Technical Community College

The Springfield Technical Community College’s men’s soccer team felt a special bond this season. Team captain Siervo Jimenez, standing, third from right, said, “I never played with a team like this. We are connected as one person.” (Photo courtesy of STCC)

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