We Scored An Interview With These Keepers: An Interview with Henry Kotkin and Jeremy Moller
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Height: 5’8” and a half
Eye color: Green
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Brown
Hair color: Brown
Led by senior captains Henry Kotkin and Jeremy Moller, the Stuyvesant Peglegs are looking to qualify for playoffs this year. Both Kotkin and Moller have been key players for the team, with Moller being a top scorer and Kotkin an assister. Moller has also played in most games since freshman year and Kotkin sophomore year, proving they have been instrumental for the Peglegs.
1. When did you start playing soccer?
HK: I started playing when I was three, and I started playing on a club team since I was eight. JM: I started playing when I was two or three—whenever walking was a normal thing for me—and I think I started playing club when I was seven.
2. What do you want to improve for yourself this year?
HK: Personally, I want to get a goal because I haven’t had a PSAL goal yet. JM: I, on the other hand, have scored a goal—multiple of them—so my goal this year now that I’m playing striker is to get at least 10 goals.
3. Why did you want to join the soccer team?
HK: I honestly couldn’t see myself going to Stuyvesant and not playing on the soccer team. It was like a necessity for me; it was the one thing that had to be part of my life. I am definitely glad I did it because it’s how I met most of my friends coming into freshman year. JM: Yeah, I love soccer, so just being on a sports team at Stuy[vesant] is a very important part of the high school experience. The bonds that you form with your teammates are unparalleled to those of the classroom or school. Just the friendships that you form on a school team are priceless; plus, soccer is a lit sport, and I get the bag always.
4. What are your respective positions on the team, and what do you do there?
HK: I’m a central midfielder, so essentially what I do is I control the middle of the field and try to link up the defense to the attack when we are on the offense. To add on, I also try to stop their team from doing the same thing. JM: I play striker, which means the primary goal for me is to score. Part of Henry’s job is making sure that I score, so if he’s doing good at his job, I do well at mine.
5. How has the captaincy changed your playstyle and outlook on the game?
HK: It hasn’t changed him at all. JM: No, no—honestly, it’s weird being responsible or trying to be, at least. I was a slacker so to speak, and now I’m less of a slacker, so when I say, “Hey guys, do this,” I feel obligated to do those things as well. My outlook has definitely changed: it’s also thinking about how you impact the incoming freshmen. The role the previous captains played in our high experience when we first joined the team and how welcoming they were play a big part of my thinking. HK: Yeah, I think that being captain is a little bit strange, as you are the top of the chain under Mr. Miller, but then again at the same time, it’s not as much of a step-up from last year, as we only had four seniors. The two captains depended on the juniors sometimes, so I think that a lot of times—in game especially—Jeremy and I were very vocal and it has translated a lot to this year. We are continuing it a year later but without the previous year’s seniors.
6. How do you deal with playing soccer and your schoolwork? Do you have any tips?
HK: I think that for me personally, I’m actually more productive during soccer season than not during it because I feel like I’m really doing something. Out of soccer season, I’m not being productive and not working properly, as I have time to slack off. During the season, I feel like I’m always working, so it pushes me to be more productive with my schoolwork, I’m definitely a better student during season. JM: Yeah, in addition to that, any sports team for that matter plays an important role in taking your mind out of a very concentrated school focus. Having soccer afterschool helps relax your mind as you are getting out of the stressed school setting. Often when I get home after soccer, I’m in a much calmer and more relaxed place where I’m able to do my work and be more productive.
8. Favorite memory or moment?
HK: My personal favorite memory is last year when we were winning a game against a team a little weaker than us and our captain Kevin Mitchell [19’] stepped up to take a penalty and missed. That’s definitely been my favorite memory. We definitely kept on making fun of him for that. JM: Well, I don’t like to put people down, so my favorite memory was a game against FDA. Toward the end of the game, it was tied 2-2, and they fouled our goalie really bad. Literally kicked him in the face (HK: How is that your favorite memory). I’m sorry—is this your story? No. Anyway, he had like 13 fractures in his cheekbones and had over 40 stitches, so he had to come out of the game. We were all very upset with the game, the other team, and the ref, and at the end of the game, we got a free kick outside of the box. A former player hit it and he scored—we all went crazy and stupid. So it was great because we beat the team. It was just a great comradery, and we were all united over the mutual fact that our goalie got hurt, so we fought back.
9. Proudest moment so far?
JM: My proudest moment was freshman year when I was still struggling to find my place on the team and the role I played. We had this game at MLK and it was our first time playing them; I started and it was a real reinforcement of my capabilities and the coach’s faith in me. MLK is a really good team, and it was truly the beginning of when I felt like a part of the team. HK: I think my proudest moment was against Columbia Secondary when we tied 1-1. Jeremy and I actually have the same birthday, so it was on our birthday. JM: Yeah, the athletes of the issue literally have the same birthday. You aren’t going to find that anywhere. That’s so cool—am I right? HK: Anyway, we played really well as a team; Jeremy and I played together at center midfield. I was just proud of our performance because we bossed the midfield that game against three really solid midfielders.
HK- Mango Nectar
JM- Raspberry lime seltzer with orange juice
JM- Vietnamese sandwiches—the grilled pork ones near my house
Motto to live by:
HK- You can’t lose if you don’t concede.
JM- Chase the bag.
Fun fact: Our birthdays are the same day (October 10).