A young leader

Isaiah Lovering captains the men’s soccer team as an underclassman

Luke Stergiou / Senior Photographer

Matthew Barriga

Equinox Staff

While the position of captain on any given sports team is typically held by seniors, sophomore Isaiah Lovering is proving otherwise on the men’s soccer team.

Lovering said he’s had plenty of experience on the field even before coming to college. “I’ve pretty much been playing soccer my whole life. The youngest I remember playing is when I was four. My dad’s a huge soccer fan, so he always pushed me to play soccer over pretty much everything,” Lovering said.

Lovering said he played all throughout high school and was a team captain his senior year at John Stark High School in Henniker, New Hampshire. According to Lovering, the process of selecting a captain is a team decision. Team members put their name in to be considered for captain, and the whole team votes on those they think would be best.

Lovering said soccer played a big role in his decision to come to KSC. “I’d say it was 50/50. The soccer definitely helped. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do school-wise, and I figured Keene would be a great way to explore my options,” Lovering said. He is currently undeclared, but claims he has an interest in computer science.

Lovering  said he thinks the team chose him because of his attitude. “I learned a lot last year — I think everybody on the team learned a lot last year. I think it’s because of how vocal I am.” Lovering claimed he had a lot of hopes for the team. “I think because we’re so young, I want to see maturity. I still need to mature, but we have a lot of freshmen and it would be good to see everybody getting matured into that role of veterans, so further down the line we have a mature team.” According to Lovering, there are roughly 40 players on the team — and 27 of them are first year students.

Donovan Harris and Jacob Chiza are also both captains on the team. When asked why he believes Lovering was voted as captain, Harris said he thinks it’s because of how much Lovering has grown. “He stepped up a lot when we needed him to, and matured a lot as a player more than most of last year’s freshmen. [After he was made captain] he became more vocal and showed more initiative.”

Chiza shared similar thoughts. “He’s a hard worker, and compared to his freshman year to now, he stepped up a lot. During the summer he gained a lot of weight muscle-wise — so he’s gotten stronger and faster. [Last year] he was kind of shy but now he’s stepped out of his bubble. He’s changed the way we play and the way we act; we take care of each other as one big family,” Chiza said.

Clinton Mungeta is a sophomore on the team, and played with Lovering last year. According to Mungeta, last year the team lost 12 graduating seniors. Mungeta said Lovering stepped up to fill this missing role. Lovering’s advice for anyone who wants to be captain of their team is: “Always be positive and always support your teammates no matter what.”

Matthew Barriga can be contacted at

mbarriga@kscequinox.com