Senior Captain Ali Zoulgami Officially Retires as the Season Comes to an End

(L to R) Ali Zoulgami, Melvin Gabriel Delgado Melara, and Yasser Belatreche. Photo taken by Yusuf Zoulgami.

As a captain this year on the MHS Boys’ Soccer team, Ali Zoulgami spent his time doing his best to lead the team through a difficult season ending in a 3-13-2 record. 

Zoulgami has been playing soccer for as long as he can remember. Originally his interest in soccer stemmed from his culture, as he is a Moroccan-American. Soccer is the most popular sport in Morocco, last year, Morocco’s run in the World Cup came to an end after falling to Croatia for third place. This nationwide love for soccer really fueled Zoulgami’s love for the sport. 

When Zoulgami was reflecting on his role as Captain, he explained that he “learned as a captain that if the team isn't together they can't win anything no matter how good they are.” 

As captain this year, Zoulgami reflected on the fact that his favorite memory was on Senior Night. Even though Zoulgami wasn’t able to play his usual position, he had a great time just being on the field with the team. 

 “It was fun defending as well as attacking as the fans watched. And we put up a pretty good fight, almost winning in the last minute until Lynn scored in the last minute, unfortunately tying the score 2-2. But nonetheless, it was a good game and a fun experience,” Zoulgami said.

Ali Zoulgami posing for photos on the field. Photo submitted by Ali Zoulgami.

Along with the loving motivation and support from his friends and family, His love for soccer has, “continued to grow over the years. As he got older, it would take time for him to adapt to harder competition, especially during his freshman year when he was playing JV against older kids. But every time he would struggle, he would remind himself that at the end of the day, “I play the sport for fun and because I love it. I have improved mentally through being able to handle tough situations and losses much better than I used to.”

Growing up Zoulgami always felt supported by the “community that impacted my life the most. Everything I learned was from them. They gave me so many opportunities to learn and grow and I'm so thankful for being a part of a community like this.”

As Zoulgami retires from his role as a captain this year he encourages the team to,  “make sure to stay together and act as a team. And whoever takes the iconic number 1 [referencing his jersey number] should live up to it.”

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