From fútbol to football

Before+playing+Evanston+on+March+19%2C+senior+Dylan+Yoss+warms+up+for+his+first+high+school+football+game.+Yoss+switched+from+soccer+to+football+for+his+senior+year+after+playing+soccer+for+13+years.+Photo+by+Saruul-Erdene+Jagdagdorj

Before playing Evanston on March 19, senior Dylan Yoss warms up for his first high school football game. Yoss switched from soccer to football for his senior year after playing soccer for 13 years. Photo by Saruul-Erdene Jagdagdorj

Brady Rassin, Sports Editor

Running into the loud, crowd-filled William Lutz Stadium with his teammates, Dylan Yoss, varsity starting wide receiver, was both overwhelmed and excited for the first game of the season. Yoss had previously played soccer since he was 5 years old before switching to play football for his senior season. This was his first ever high school football game.

“Just running out [on the field], there was a lot more energy throughout the whole team compared to soccer,” said Yoss in a phone interview. “It was unbelievable.”

Following his junior varsity soccer season last year, Yoss decided to transition to football because he had friends on the team, enjoyed watching the sport, had lost interest in soccer and wanted to play a sport with more contact than soccer.

“My interest in soccer kind of fell as time went on, and I didn’t enjoy the practices,” Yoss said.

There was a mixed reaction from Yoss’ friends when he told them he was switching to football. While the football coaches, football players and some of his friends were very supportive and excited, other friends wondered why he quit and worried that he would struggle to make the transition, Yoss said. At the time, his only football experience had been playing pickup with his friends and family.

Slot receiver Zach Mendo said in a phone interview that he was shocked when he heard Yoss was going to play football.

“He’s a soccer player, and [football is] … a totally different sport,” said Mendo. “Especially this late in high school, not many people [switch sports], so it was really impressive and courageous.”

According to Yoss, he practiced around three or four times a week with Mendo and a couple other football players throughout the spring and summer of 2020. During these sessions, they focused on route running and catching.

Bob Pieper, assistant varsity football coach, said that Yoss’ off-season work, willingness to learn, athletic background and speed have helped him transition nicely.

“Not every kid can come out and be a good football player … just trying it [their] first year,” said Pieper. “But because he’s athletic, he can make up for some things. He can run, he’s pretty fast.”

As of April 14 the team has a record of 1-3. Yoss has five catches for 75 yards, including his longest catch of the season for about 46 yards on Senior Night against New Trier.

According to Yoss, he is pretty happy with how the season has gone so far and does not regret his decision to switch sports.

“I absolutely think I made the right decision in quitting soccer because I love playing football,” said Yoss. “It’s my senior year and I wasn’t going to [play] soccer, so why not have fun.”