WICHITA, Kan.—An appearance in the final four seemed nearly impossible to the Northwest soccer team a few weeks ago when they ended the regular season by placing fourth in the City League. However, after an exciting win against North to send the Grizzlies to the semifinals, all doubters were proved wrong.
“They all doubted us going to state,” Coach Bobby Briebiesca said. “We heard throughout the regional playoffs that we were the Cinderella team.”
“I wish I could have called a timeout to regroup during the championship game, and the outcome might have been different,” Coach Briebiesca said. “But it is hard to repeat state appearances and I’m very proud of the boys.”
Despite losing in the finals, the team is generally content with the outcome of the season. Offensively and defensively the boys proved they belonged with the best in the state.
“Our performance was outstanding,” senior Hayden Johnson said. “We had our ups and downs as a team but we battled hard to make it as far as we did.”
Senior Caleb Mills and junior Makena Rhodes returned from injuries to play key positions in the final games of the season. Coach Briebiesca felt they deserved the playing time because of their leadership, skill, and their perseverance through adversity.
“I’m glad they came and were able to play with us,” senior Jake Carter said. “They brought a different type of energy to the game and played their positions well.”
Carter hopes to see the team continue to advance past regionals even after he graduates this year.
“They will do well,” he said. “[My advice] would be to work hard at practice every day and to play as a team.”