Soccer isn’t just a sport for Dorchester junior Tevin Reid. It’s a little piece of home.
“I miss everything about Jamaica,” Reid said of his native country. “I miss my team and want to win a trophy for them.”
The 17 year-old forward played for a club team in the Caribbean island until he moved to Dorchester last year. Now, he is a starter for the Bears.
“He’s a great addition to the team,” Dorchester coach Tim Lavin said. “He’s been very dependable coming to practice and training, being on time and working hard. While he’s new, he’s a great example of how to conduct yourself as a student athlete on the field and in school.”
Reid was originally a cricket player, until his brother showed him how to play soccer when he was 9-years-old. He described the experience as love at first sight.
“I love everything you can do with the ball and I love scoring goals,” he said. “I love the sport.”
Reid described playing for the Bears as one of his favorite parts about living in Boston, although that wasn’t always the case. He was academically ineligible to play last year, but worked hard to ensure a spot on the team this season.
“I didn’t understand the school system when I first moved here,” he said. “But I worked hard to get cleared.”
Part of the reason he’s doing so well is because of the Boston Scholar program’s Zone. The learning center is in each Boston public high school and provides tutoring for athletes.
“For Tevin to come from Jamaica, have a new school system, [it was] a period of adjustment,” Lavin said. “He worked hard last year in the classroom and also with the the Zone. He worked with facilitators to make sure his grades improved and was able to play this year.
"All credit to him and the people in the BSA Zone.”
Due to both his talent and character, Lavin was happy to hear that Reid would play this season.
“His greatest strength is his ball control,” Lavin said. “He has a very nice first touch [and] excellent control. He’s a good passer and knows how to finish; he has scored many goals this season. He’s very hardworking in the game and in training so he earns both my respect and the respect of his teammates. One of the great things about Tevin is that he just loves to play.”
Meanwhile, Reid credits Lavin for making his transition onto the team so easy.
“He’s a very good coach,” he said. “He taught me respect and how to play even better.”
He also credits his teammates and how they communicate on and off the field.
“My team is excellent,” he said. “ I like how we play together. When someone scores a goal we lift them up and say ‘good goal.’ We follow coach and work hard.”
While he misses Jamaica, he appreciates the US, especially how soccer is played.
“The environments are very different. [In Jamaica,] people would walk in the street without shoes, unlike here. In Jamaica soccer is more difficult, it’s more challenging. The players don’t have respect so they play dirty. Over here, it’s harmonized.”
Dorchester’s captain and senior forward Warren Excius acknowledged that Reid fits in just fine, despite his different background.
“Even though we’re not from the same nation, we play well together,” he said. “He helps bring good balance to the middle.”
Now that he’s doing well in school and connects with his coach and teammates, he’s setting his sights even higher.
“I want the trophy,” he said of winning the city championships.
As of Wednesday, Dorchester (8-2, 8-2 Boston City League) was two games behind East Boston (9-1, 8-0) in the city league standings. Eastie beat Dorchester 2-0 on the opening day of the season.
Reid thinks the Bears are capable of going to the city playoffs but he knows they have their work cut out for them. Even though Madison Park has the third best record in the city league, Reid believes MP could be a tough team to beat in the post season.
“The hardest game we played was [against] Madison," he said of the team that beat them 2-0 on Sept. 24. "They’re a good team, they understand the game.”
Ideally, he would like to win the championship, play through college and make it as a professional player. As for his destination, he’s not looking homeward.
“We’ll see what happens, but I think I’ll stay here,” he said. “It’s my life.”
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.