“Eagle Ball! Front your man! Ten hard! Get in the box!” Coach Zitur shouts from the sidelines.
While Tim Zitur is mostly known as a math teacher at SAS, once school hours are over, he turns into a charismatic varsity soccer coach. Zitur has been coaching boys’ varsity soccer since he arrived at SAS 18 years ago, and he has led the team to seven gold medals in IASAS. He has watched many players come and go, and he has seen the development and changes within varsity.
“Well, in the years back the school wasn’t too big, and so I’d always have good players, but not so much the depth. This year, we have a lot of depth in the team, which is great for the players and the team,” he said.
Varsity Captain John Choo said that it isn’t just the players’ ability that brings success to the team. It’s their coach, too. “His experience in the sport is very clear. He knows how to balance the team.”
Senior Tristan Grigg also added that “Mr. Zitur has a special aura to make you do your best in school and on the pitch.”
During tryouts period, Mr. Zitur is always under pressure. Every year he faces the hardship of cutting very competent players, and sometimes is met with players that deem his decisions wrong and unfair. However, Captain Sam Day-Weiss disagreed with those that criticize him and showed his belief in his coach by saying, “I have never played on a team with a coach that has been so skillful in choosing the players for his team. For all three years that I have been on the team, the players that he has picked have complemented each other so well, and that – in combination with his ability to pick out the areas needing improvement – has led us to two consecutive IASAS championships.”
Going forward, Zitur would like SAS soccer to continue as it has been doing. “Being in an international school, you never really know what’s going to happen, but we’ll try to keep doing what we do.”
When asked about getting more gold medals, Zitur replied with a slight chuckle. “Yea, we’ll keep trying our best to get the medals, but what’s more important to me is that we all remember to follow the Eagle Way. It’s something I am proud of, and something I hope all the players take with them after graduating from here.”
When asked to take a walk down memory lane and pick his all-time best 11 players to put in a team, Zitur didn’t hesitate to start scribbling names on a paper. He later said he could not bring it down to one team, so instead he made two. Here is his all-time best 22.
DISCLAIMER: Mr. Zitur has added that he has not added any players that are currently playing, and that there are players that he has definitely missed out, credit to his long 18 years of coaching.
Which team would win? Who do you think Mr. Zitur missed out on? Put your thoughts and comments below!
Mr. Zitur, the SAS varsity soccer team, and the SAS community would like to send condolences to Jason Peck’s family. Jason was a former varsity soccer player who passed away unexpectedly this week.