It’s a saying that could apply to just about all facets of life.
"Together everyone achieves more."
If you look at this sentence more closely, you may notice that it’s an acronym.
For the Aurora girls soccer team, the sun will rise and set with this simple little word in 2019.
"Our motto is ‘One program, one team,’" first-year Greenmen head coach Domenica McClintock said. "As we build the varsity roster, we want it to mirror the JV [junior varsity] level. What we want to accomplish at the varsity level is the same theme for what we want to accomplish with the JV."
A massive overhaul or complete change of culture won’t be necessary. Aurora has established quite a reputation as a formidable bunch in recent years.
That includes 2018.
The Greenmen reached their first district final since 2012 and shared the Suburban League American Conference championship.
Aurora finished 11-5-3 after a 1-0 penalty-kick shootout loss to conference rival Revere in the Kent Division II district final.
The Greenmen plan to continue riding the wave of success this fall. But several of their most avid surfers won’t be taming those scary billows any more.
Aurora lost 12 seniors to graduation. The most noteworthy departure was forward Taylor Burick, who led the team in scoring the last two years.
Other graduates included defenders Carly Obly, Jodi Obly and Megha Girn; midfielders Nicole Doemling, Alena Paul, Sydney Trem and Sarah Nemeth; midfielders/forwards Sami Richards, Abbey Byard and Emily Byard; and forward Maya Girn.
"They were very strong players," McClintock said. "Most of them were starters."
No need to pity the Greenmen, though. Aurora still has eight returning letter winners back in the mix. And none of those returnees are the least bit interested in taking a step backward.
"So far, things are going really well," McClintock said. "We’re trying to play a style we want to accomplish. They’re connecting well as a group."
That style of play is not one for those who prefer a leisurely pace. The Greenmen plan to dictate the tempo and force their opponents to become as perturbed as possible.
"We want to maintain a high speed of play," McClintock said. "Possession is the name of the game. It’s about moving the ball and how you can help in terms of where the next pass is going."
When it comes to her new team, McClintock won’t be the least bit interested in seeing a psychic. You won’t catch her dealing a series of tarot cards either.
McClintock, who previously was the head coach of the Crestwood girls soccer team, has her eyes squarely fixed on the present.
She expects her players to do the same.
"The focus is on the now," McClintock said. "Everybody is looking forward to the new season and new opportunities."
Focusing on the now will be crucial if Aurora is going to embrace its motto. It’s not rocket science. The more the program becomes one giant, close-knit family, the more the individual players will benefit.
Or, as NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan eloquently put it: "There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is in win."
"We’re investing now to invest for our future," McClintock said.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.