Passion is a word often thrown around in sports to describe a love for the game, or the intensity of one’s play.
Sometimes it’s overused, but in the case of Cheney soccer midfielder Jesse Retan, it’s an apt description that began early in childhood.
“I’ve been playing since I was 5 or 6 years old,” said Retan. “I always have favorite players.
“The main thing is self-motivation, I guess. Seeing the top players at the top levels, I was saying that I wanted to be them.
“I wanted to do that. I wanted to have that touch. That was really a motivator.”
Retan’s intensity led to him being named second-team All-Greater Spokane League last season. While his intensity has been a major reason for his success, it also has been turned against him at times.
“He brings great passion and energy to the team,” said Blackhawk head coach Steve Davis. “When he’s on the field, you can feel his passion of play.
“Sometimes he has a difficult time separating his passion for the game and his emotional response to situations. He’s really improved upon that.”
“I just need to keep my cool,” said Retan, who enters his senior-year season at Cheney. “I’m friends with all the refs. They all know me.
“They know my tendencies, so I just have to keep my cool and just do what I do best. I’m definitely a vocal guy.”
Part of Retan’s love for the game can be traced to a European visit several years back.
“I’ve been to an EPL (English Premier League) game before,” Retan said. “Those are intense.
“They (the fans) are crazy. They have to separate the fans from different areas. It’s crazy.
“That is what their life is over there. Going there when I was 12 or 13 with my club team, that was something that really sparked my enthusiasm and my passion for the game.
“It just made me want to play even more and be at that level.”
The Blackhawks, who were 3A district champs last year, fell short for state, losing in a shootout, and Retan hopes to carry his team to higher ground this season.
“Oh, it’s definitely a motivator,” he said. “We felt that we have to be that much better to win.
“We can’t have the shootouts. We just have to win it in 90 minutes.
“It just makes us stronger. It makes us want to work harder and grow as a team.”
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