With a mix and match roster, the 00 Boys Red team went into the Division 3 state tournament not entirely sure what to expect. Questions were abounding as three guest players had to fill in due to a number of injuries prior to the tourney. It didn’t matter to Coach Steven Townley, as he simply made a few adjustments and fielded a squad ready to compete. The result was a fantastic display of soccer, which ended in a state title.
With a roster of 12 players for 11v11, injuries were this team’s enemy all year. At one point, four of the players were unable to play at the same time due to various ailments. This led to a major reshuffling, and with only 11 players being available for state, three players were borrowed to fill out the roster. Braden Hicks and Dalton Haliburton were brought up from the younger U11 Black, and Patrick Gleason jumped on board from 00 Boys Gold.
First up was Nashville United which was a nail biting 0-0 draw. Coming up huge was goal keeper Shayne Miller, who kept the scores level and kept them alive for the rest of the tournament. A 3-0 win over Chattanooga Academy Elite followed, with goals from Elijah Arguez, TyTrikones, and Ryan Clark. This led to what would be a very eventful Sunday.
The next day featured a match against Stones River White. Needing to score goals, the boys came away with an 8-0 win. Five of those goals came from Arguez, two from Matthew Hoover, and Trikones chipped in the final score. The massive onslaught had the boys thinking it was enough to send them into the final. Unfortunately, a wild scoring system had them tying at all levels with a team from Nashville, meaning it was time for a penalty kick shootout to see who would advance. Goals from Drew Bowles, Brayden White and Shayne Miller led to a 3-2 win and a punched ticked to the championship game.
With injured player Cole Arden arriving from Kingston to cheer them on the final, an inspired FC Alliance squad earned a 1-0 win over Lakeway Legacy. It was a close and tense game settled by a Matthew Hoover goal.
The shutout in the finals meant the team went through the entire tournament without conceding a goal. Huge credit has to go to the back line of Miller, Brayden White, Ryan Kent, Trey Dousis and Jareth Holas.
This was the second consecutive year a boys team in the 00 Boys age group has won a state championship.