Bristol Press Athletes of the Week are Bristol Eastern's Myah Croze and Ariza Kolloverja

Published on Monday, 2 October 2017 22:58
Written by BOB MONTGOMERY

CORRESPONDENT

Two Bristol Eastern students share “Athlete of the Week” honors with regards to area high school sports. They are junior Myah Croze of the girls soccer team and senior Ariza Kolloverja, a captain of the school’s football team.

Croze, the daughter of Greg and Tammy Croze, earns the honor for a second straight year. She was among those who helped the Lancers to two victories last week, an 8-2 win over visiting Platt on Monday and 4-3 overtime triumph against South Windsor on Saturday.

In the first game of the week, the 2016 all-conference forward netted three goals and in the second contest, scored the winning tally with assistance from teammates Brooke Dauphinee and Jenna Soucy.

“Against Platt, we knew we had to combine as a team and play to our level,” Croze said. “We used outsiders a lot because we knew we can have an advantage there.”

The South Windor match was a come-from-behind victory.

“We were down 3-1 at the half and I think we just wanted to win more, so we left everything on the field and played to the best of our ability as a team,” Croze said. “We knew it was going to be tough, so we knew we had to play well to win.”

Entering this week with a 3-3 team mark, the junior’s advice to younger players would be to always work hard.

“In the end it will pay off,” Croze said. “Always do your best even when you think you can’t.”

Croze added that she has benefited from playing sports in different ways.

“It’s given me more confidence,” Croze said. “It’s taught me to play with other people and you have to work hard if you want something. It’s nice to learn everyone else’s perspective of the game.”

Kolloverja, the son of Naile Kolloverja, is a running back, strong safety and receiver for Eastern coach Anthony Julius whose charges are now 1-2 on the season. On Friday, he and the Lancers beat visiting Newington 9-7 to snap a 17-game losing streak and earn their first win as a program since 2015. Offensively, he carried the ball 30 times for 172 yards as well as catching a pass for 10.

“It feels amazing to win,” Kolloverja said. “I haven’t had this feeling in a while. The reason why we won is because our team is dedicated, hardworking and we never give up.”

Another reason for the victory was Kolloverja’s performances on both sides of the ball. Coming into the game, he wanted a bigger role within the offense.

“I asked [Julius] for more touches,” Kolloverja said. “I believe in my ability to help us win games. The previous game I had only two touches. I thought that I could impact the game.”

The “AOW” pick then said he wants the Lancers to play a .500 season, and he hopes to be responsible for some part of it as a captain.

“For me, it’s to keep the team united and to set an example for others,” Kolloverja said.

And like Croze, he, too, has gotten something of out playing his favorite sport.

“It’s kept me motivated, to just keep going,” said Kolloverja. “It’s created a family and friendships with the teammates I have. It’s given me a lot of life lessons that I wouldn’t have gotten without playing football.”



Posted in The Bristol Press, Athletes of the Week, Bristol Eastern, General Sports on Monday, 2 October 2017 22:58. Updated: Monday, 2 October 2017 23:00.