NAHS soccer works with champion athletes

New Albany’s boys soccer team had a unique experience last Thursday, as members of Bethel College’s soccer teams visited and worked with the team during their practice.

Felix Obillio, Joseph Omondi, Ugochi Opara and Malang Jarju showed up to the Bulldogs’ practice and worked with the team on fundamentals. With their combined experience, their help was greatly appreciated by the team.

Opara, a member of the Nigerian Women’s National Team, competed in the 2000 Olympics in Australia, as well as the 2003 World Cup. Obillio is an All-American mid-fielder hailing from Kenya, along with Omondi, and Jarju is currently the graduate assistant coach for both the Wildcat and Lady Wildcat teams.

These athletes have put Bethel on the map as one of the premier NAIA teams, as Opara and the Lady Wildcats won the TranSouth Athletic Conference Tournament, while the Wildcats won the national championship this season.

The group is currently in New Albany for the Christmas holiday, and took the opportunity to share their passion and talent with the students at NAHS.

“We’re having fun and it’s good to share what we know with this group of kids,” Jarju said. “They’re looking good, and we’re just showing them basics, like passing and moving.”

Thinking from a coaching perspective, Jarju is also looking at the future of Bethel’s program while working with the Bulldogs.

“This is great for me because this is a good recruiting opportunity,” Jarju explained.

With one of their biggest games of the season on tap versus the Pontotoc Warriors, the exhibition and lesson from the students at Bethel was a great way to relax and prepare for their divisional showdown.

NAHS will take on the Warriors Monday night in their final game before the holidays. They will be back in action on January 5 in a make-up game with Saltillo in New Albany.