The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

ROHS Soccer Facelift

Melissa Vangorden leads girls as head coach
Girls+varsity+soccer+team+Photo+contributed+by+Sophie+Matthews
Girls varsity soccer team Photo contributed by Sophie Matthews

Newly hired girls varsity coach, Melissa VanGorden, is excited to take on this role and lead the program. VanGorden explained that the team will begin using a new concept called “RAVENS,” which stands for “Respect Always, Vision of Excellence, Never Stop.” This idea will be implemented alongside a planned off-season program, a nutrition guide, and pre-season strength and conditioning sessions.
“This year, the girls’ program will be really focused on the culture of the program and will embody the concept of RAVENS,” said VanGorden, who would like to provide a safe and fun space for the players this year and ensure they can do their absolute best on the team.
“Coach VanGorden wants us to stay true to ourselves and that our first priority is each other rather than the fun of soccer,” said varsity player, Sarah Barnett.
“Every player has a role on the team, and the best teams treat each other like family,” said VanGorden. “You can have a team of all-stars, but if they don’t play as a team, you just have a bunch of individuals playing for themselves.”

Melissa Vangorden will coach the girls varsity soccer team this year. Photo by Tessa Abrutyn

Even though the girls’ team hasn’t changed as much as the boys’ team this year, it can already be noted that they are both taking some of the same strategies into their cultures.
So far, these cultural changes have generated excitement and even a little anxiety in players. This is expected because former and incoming players must get to know each other to make a team work well.
“It’s learning how to respect one another’s differences and embrace what each unique person brings to the team as a whole,” said VanGorden.
Of course, it’s not all about just getting to know teammates. Players must also get to know their coach and how the team will be run. In addition to creating a new culture for the team, VanGorden communicated early on with her players to let them know she’s very excited about this year.
“Throughout my conversations with Coach VanGorden, it seems like she wants an atmosphere based on bonding,” said Barnett.
“My biggest goal is to make sure that by the end of the season when anyone hears the word RAVENS, they don’t just think about the mascot or a pre-game cheer; they recognize the values behind that word and behind that program,” said VanGorden.

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About the Contributors
Sidney Kapelanski, Graphics Editor
My name is Sidney Kapelanski and this is my second year on the Acorn staff. Along with that, I am the Graphics editor and I am super excited to create cool graphics that will help our magazine stand out. Along with enjoying art and writing, I love studying history, and listening to music, like my favorite band, The Cure. I have also started writing a book outside of school, and I am currently trying to self-publish it.
Tessa Abrutyn, Reporter
Hi! My name is Tessa Abrutyn and I am a senior at Royal Oak High School. I am a reporter for Acorn and currently in my second year. Outside of the newsmagazine I enjoy reading, sleeping, and watching tv. I love my dog, Caramel. I am also a part of the girls varsity tennis team. I’m so excited for my last year at ROHS!!!

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