Role models provide those they inspire with actions to emulate, habits to replicate, and goals to achieve. In his three years as a member of the PHS varsity boys soccer team, Chase Ealy ’15 has met multiple players whom he considers to be his role models.
Ealy’s 2012 season, his first with the varsity team, included a team full of seniors, many of whom had won the NJSIAA Group III state championship their freshman year and were hungry for another title.
“It was a team led by Zach [Halliday ’13] and Aidan [Passanante ’13]. It was all big guys,” said Ealy. “They had a lot of experience.” Ealy’s favorite memory of his high school career comes from a game against Ramapo High School that season, when his team was able to tie for the 2012 State Championship, winning two titles in four years. Ealy’s assist to Scott Barbano ’13 secured the Tigers’ only goal.
“It was just such a tightly-knit team, and [we] worked so hard for it,” said Ealy. “It was great to be there.”
Ealy still considers his teammates to be some of his closest friends. “[We] really build a bond on the team,” he said. “We’re friends on the field and off the field—we hang out all the time. It really helps; you get to know each other.” However, while Ealy retains friends on the team, his overall role has slowly changed. After the team graduated 12 of its state-championship seniors, it became much younger, progressing to a starting line-up this year that only includes about two seniors. Ealy is also now a captain, compelling him to alter how he acts at practice.
“When I first joined the [varsity] team my sophomore year, I was watching. I was kind of preparing myself for the job that I would have as a senior,” said Ealy. “Now I have the job of being captain and I’ve watched Zach and Aidan and Kevin [Halliday ’14] do it for so long that I’ve gone from listening to really doing all the talking. I’m really just trying to do what they did.”
“As captain my responsibility is to make sure the guys are concentrated,” he said. “They’re young and some of them are kind of inexperienced, but they’re really, really talented so as long as we keep our heads on straight during practice and do what we [need to] do [we’ll be okay].”
Ealy has also literally changed positions on the team. Although he was awarded Second Team All-CVC for defense after his 2013 season, he now plays midfielder and forward, positions that work better with the new team dynamic. The new position has allowed Ealy to score a goal in each of the first five boys’ games this season.
Ealy plans to continue playing soccer in college.