Greeted by fistbumps from lecturers and college students, Peter Sargent and members of the boys’ soccer workforce walked the Deering Excessive Faculty halls Wednesday morning being handled as champions the day after profitable the Class A South regional title.
Although the gamers and coaches say the job will not be completed, I’m right here to let you know in any other case. No matter Saturday’s Class A boys’ soccer state championship end result, this Deering Excessive Faculty boys’ soccer workforce ought to endlessly name themselves winners.
The storied Deering Excessive Faculty athletic program of my childhood fell on arduous occasions. And after a dozen years, a Rams workforce is lastly again in a state title recreation, slated for a 12:30 p.m. matinee towards Lewiston at Messalonskee Excessive Faculty in Oakland. It’s the primary state championship look in program historical past.
“The massive distinction this yr is that now we have guys who’ve stepped up and discovered from previous years’ failures to step up,” Thirteenth-year coach Joel Costigan mentioned. “There’s simply a number of grit on this workforce and fewer individuality.”
Thank Sargent and classmate Ethan Fisher for that. They performed on a workforce final fall that ended its season, of their minds, prematurely. Sargent and Fisher realized as sophomores what they’d have to do to steer the Rams as juniors. On the floor, holding their teammates accountable sounds simple. It’s not, and the rationale why many gifted highschool groups flop.
“What actually does it for us is our self-discipline,” Fisher mentioned. “We’re at all times ensuring our guys are on time and conserving them in test. … That’s positively attributable to our success.”
The team-first mentality manifests itself over and over. On the macro stage, this system fielded full first workforce, junior varsity and varsity rosters for the primary time for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic. Particular person gamers demonstrated their selflessness in switching positions, like senior Avery Bassi-Lawrence, who moved from a table-setting function at wing ahead to middle again and freshman Nathan Dimandya, who started the season coming off the bench as a middle midfielder however moved right into a beginning function after a transition to outdoors again.
Seeded No. 3 in Class A South, Deering’s storybook playoff journey features a pair of double-overtime wins and a 1-0 victory over rival Portland within the regional ultimate on Tuesday earlier than a crowd of greater than 1,000 on impartial floor in Kennebunk.
“There’s a lot that goes into profitable through the playoffs, grit being one, luck being one other, however you’ve acquired to have a shared philosophy and shared aim,” Costigan mentioned. “Soccer’s a good way to present guys who may need distractions a chance to only focus.”
The boys’ soccer workforce too doubles as a beacon for pupil physique unity. Greater than 150 college students made the journey to Kennebunk for the regional. That it was towards Portland is even sweeter. A tricky recreation between the traces provides manner for much more togetherness.
After the ultimate buzzer sounded, a handful of Portland gamers approached their Deering opponents.
“Carry the trophy again,” they advised them.
I wish to joke that my class bears duty — partially — for our college’s state championship drought. Coincidence or not, the Class of 2016 was in eighth grade when the Deering boys’ basketball workforce captured the college’s most up-to-date state title. As soon as we acquired to highschool, no workforce sport reached a state title recreation, till now.
Very like the 2004 Pink Sox — who not one of the Deering soccer gamers watched reside as a result of they weren’t but born — the curse has lastly been reversed, it doesn’t matter what occurs within the state championship match.