With numerous conference titles and back-to-back 5A State Championships, the Siloam Springs soccer program now competes in the 6A classification. Even tougher, they must play local 7A schools.
“The 7A West is by far the best conference in the entire state and has the best teams in the entire state. In order for us to compete we are going to have to play the best that we can,” said Mario Flores, a senior centerback.
“A lot of these years we’ve had a lot of games where we go into it knowing that’s going to be a victory for us and I think the challenge this year is definitely something that we are looking forward to,” said head coach Jason Bowen. “I know it’s not going to be easy.”
Coach Bowen has put Siloam Springs soccer on the map in Northwest Arkansas, but his number one goal is making his players better on and off the field.
“He definitely wants for me to work as hard as I can on the field, in practice, in school even, he just tries to motivate you to go as hard and give 100 percent at all times,” said Will Easley, a senior midfielder.
“To me with my brothers playing for him, he’s been my coach basically my entire life,” said James Pollard, sophomore midfielder. He’s the reason I play in high school soccer instead of club so I think he’ll be the reason I play college.”
The Siloam soccer program wasn’t always like this and when coach Bowen took over the team 11 years ago he wanted change.
“Talking to the administration and letting them know that we wanted it to be a program not just a team that we stroll out here in January and play soccer,” said Bowen. “If I wanted to do it I wanted to do it as a program and developing the discipline and all the things it takes to be a champion.”
And having reached that champion status, coach Bowen wants his players to maintain one thing after they graduate.
“Well, I hope it’s a work ethic, definitely.”