Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Men’s Soccer Club: A New Era for the WSU Athletics

Men’s Soccer Club Team Photo

Winona State University’s Men’s Soccer Club was created last year by male students who loved soccer. The club made their official team this year with 35 players.

The club initially started with ten students with the initiative taken by the club president Michael Speltz. After starting, the club used to organize practice matches for members, though word about the club was not often heard around the campus, so participation was often minimal.

Speltz was raised in Winona County. He always wanted to study at Winona State and play soccer like his brother, so he found some friends who also enjoyed the sport. This is how the club started.

Speltz said that the main promotion for the team was done at the club fair, though most students didn’t even know that there was a club for men’s soccer.

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At the beginning of the academic year, the committee members of the club planned to join the leagues as it is the only way to get recognition as a certified athletic team. They also planned to have an official team jersey.

After sending more than 30 emails and reaching out to different leagues and coordinators, they managed to join a newly growing league called the Upper Pacific Midwest League. In this league, there are teams from Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.

While making the team jersey they had financial issues. Speltz, club vice president Caleb Deleeuw, and club co-vice president Austin Moses provided funding out of their own pockets to solve the issues, and now the full team has their jerseys.

The team is growing so fast that now they are thinking of tryouts. They are looking for more dedicated players who will continue their everyday training.

“I think we would have to do tryouts; we don’t want people to just be watching,” Deleeuw said. “So, I think tryouts would be good and then make it more competitive, which is always good for a team.”

This club does not only have some of its old players but is also good at recruiting new first-year students. The team’s center attacking midfielder Chase Harder is a freshman.

“There are a couple of players who are freshmen, and some are sophomores,” Harder said. “So, I always feel like I am with my friends.”

For practice, the club does not have any regular coaches as of now but they do get help from the Cotter High School coach.

Financial issues are the only problem for the club as of now. They are spending 800 dollars just for the registration to get into the leagues. Though, they also pay for travel to venues to outside schools.

The team also shared that most of the time they are using their own money to afford travel to another town. They also use a carpool system to make sure all their players can be present.

Emmanuel Adeniyi is one of the defenders for Winona State now and was a former football player in high school. He notes that his tackling skills from football practice come in handy here as well.

This also shows how these games are similar and can attract the younger generation of the United States. Perhaps one day it will have a large American fanbase like football has.

The Winona State soccer club will be playing against the University of Minnesota’s Gold Team on Sept. 23rd. It will be their third match of the season.

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About the Contributor
Pronob Kumar
Pronob Kumar, Sports Reporter

Pronob Kumar (he/him/his) is a sports reporter for The Winonan and started in the Fall of 2022. He is now a photographer as well. Kumar is currently a second-semester Sophomore at Winona State University majoring in Applied Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics and Physics.

In addition to working for The Winonan, Kumar is also a student employee on the IT Infrastructure team at Winona State University. He is also a tutor at the Library and a teaching assistant at the CS department. He is also the International Orientation Leader at the International Office and Orientation leader for WSU.

Outside of school, Kumar loves to play Chess. He was an under-18 national team chess player in his country. He also likes to cook food and go hiking with his friends. He enjoys drawing pictures and likes to tour different places.

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