The Swift Creek Middle School Boys soccer team won the 2018 Soccer Championship in Leon County by defeating Deerlake Middle School.
Coach Bradley Blake, who led the team through an undefeated season, encouraged his players to work to be the best team they could possibly be. Blake, who played soccer growing up, attributed his interest in coaching as a great opportunity for spending time with two of his children who play on the team.
Early on in the season, it seemed that there was nothing that could go wrong. However, Coach Blake said the team eventually faced challenges.
Blake said it was difficult to get kids on the same page who have played on different club teams in the past. It took time to for the players to get familiar with each other and to mesh as a team.
When asked what his favorite moment of the season was, Coach Blake stated, “When we played in the semifinals, we had been undefeated. In the past we had not been behind before, but we went down two goals to none in 12 mins. It was good for the kids to settle down and to realize that they aren’t always ahead”.
It turns out that this challenge worked to inspire the team, who came back and beat the Montford Mustangs, 4-2.
As for how the team became such a strong unit, Coach credits it to being able to have the members of the team play positions that work to their benefit and individual skills. Blake said it was very important to educate the new players on some of the fundamentals of the sport, including practicing good control of the ball through many different drills.
Stepping up to the challenges and understanding teamwork drove the team to success. Blake explained the hard work that this team put into the 2018 season clearly showed, setting a high bar for seasons to come.