By Curtis Ashley, Editor |
It’s easy to watch a sports game and point out all the mistakes players make. Getting in the game yourself and correcting those errors is harder. At The City College of New York, Ralph Chery is going to do just that. This September, Chery will trade in his role as a mere spectator for an active coaching spot on the team.
Chery is an English major and journalism minor. He hails from Cap-Haitien, Haiti, and now lives in Brooklyn. Before arriving at CCNY in 2015, he attended Medgar Evers College for two years. At MEC, he played on their men’s soccer team for two years. Outside of collegiate soccer, Chery also played for Grenadier Zenith, a Brooklyn-based team mainly comprised of Haitian players.
For the last two seasons, Chery watched the CCNY men’s soccer team from the sideline as a reporter for The Campus magazine. “I was supposed to play two years ago, but I didn’t play because I chose to write,” Chery admits. Now, he is unable to join the team on the field for a different reason. Chery cannot play without violating an NCAA rule that prohibits students with over 10 semesters of college experience from playing collegiate sports.
Chery will bypass the awkward phase of getting to know the team. Having spent two years shadowing them, he is familiar with the players and his fellow coaches. And they are familiar with him as well. “From watching them for two seasons, I can learn from their mistakes and look at the good things they do and apply it. And I have a good relationship with the players too, because I’ve interviewed them.”
After spending so much time watching the team and talking to the players, Chery is certain of one thing that needs to be worked on in the upcoming season. “I think they need chemistry, especially in this season. Most of the players from last year left, so they have all new players. We have to get used to playing with each other,” explains Chery.
It was a good team chemistry that led the guys to victory at the CUNYAC men’s soccer tournament in 2015. That chemistry dwindled the following season, leading to a lackluster performance, and a 7-9-1 overall record, including a one-and-done in that season’s CUNYAC tournament.
Chery is confident that the team can whip themselves into shape for the 2017 season. He understands that it is up to some of the veteran players to help keep the team on-track. Two people that came to mind were midfielder Christopher Lavelle, and forward Luis Castillo, each entering their third year with the team. “[Lavelle] was a starter as a freshmen. This is going to be his third season playing, he’s a very good player,” Chery says. “This will be [Castillo’s] third season. He should be a starter. He’s very hungry to score goals.”
The regular season begins on Saturday, September 2 with a non-conference game against Maritime College in Throggs Neck, New York. The CUNYAC opener will be two weeks from then, against the Dolphins of the College of Staten Island.