By Melissa Bear
The Flagler Saints men’s soccer team said goodbye to six seniors in the team’s season ending 3-1 loss at home against the University of North Florida on Nov. 4.
The Saints ended their season with a disappointing record of 9-10.
The seniors, Jordan Holtz, Andres Jaramillo, AJ Martin, Gerson Penza, Joey Riley and Jorgen Rosten were all honored in a brief ceremony prior to the final game of the season.
The six men also honored senior and friend Sean May, who has been an avid and vocal fan, attending almost every game for the past four years.
Holtz, Jaramillo, Martin and Rosten have been teammates for the entire four years and have developed very close friendships. “We have a bond that will last for the rest of our lives,” Martin said.
For the men, beyond their soccer careers, the friendships and memories seem to be what they hold dearest about their years at Flagler College.
“The best part of playing at Flagler is the long-lasting friendships that I have made with my teammates,” Penza said.
According to men’s soccer coach John Lynch, the men have been excellent players to coach.
Although they were not always the loudest on the field, Lynch said the six seniors were all of good character and led their
teammates by example on and off the field.
“They are all good people and we will miss their character maybe more so than their voices,” he said. “It is always bittersweet, because I’m happy to see them move on in life and graduate and get their degrees, but I’m also a little bit sad to see them go.”
For most of the seniors, spring graduation is still many months away, and to them, what lies beyond Flagler is still unknown.
Rosten and Penza, both of whom are from overseas, hope to at some point get a masters degree in the U.S. as well.
Martin, another international player on the team, recently became engaged to Yvette Rodriguez, and plans to get married next summer. He hopes to pursue a career coaching in the U.S., aspiring to coach someday at the collegiate level.
Jaramillo said he is looking forward to being able to play against his old teammates in Flagler’s annual alumni soccer game in the spring
For Jaramillo, what lies ahead is still uncertain.
“As I look forward after graduation I really don’t know were I’m headed, but I will take Flagler soccer memories with all the boys with me,” he said.
Lynch says this group will be hard to replace. “I hope that we’ve made them better players and better people and prepared them for life ahead,” he said.