We are the (District) Champions

November 10, 2021


The Fair Grove Boys Soccer Team after their district championship win, 4-0, against College Heights. Top row from left to right: assistant coach Kamron Stacey, Garrett Mullis, Esais Baird, Jaxon Rowden, Andrew Shurtz, Josh Orr, Jackson Anderson, Preston Kothenbeutel, Haddon Lair, Bradley Blecher, Krista Miller, Zoey Hupman. Bottom row: Reid Breckner, Dalton Roberts, Daniel Tennison, Owen Schlak, Shane Brewer, Eli Merillat, Brandon Kandlbinder, Jacob Hoover.

In an exciting turn of events, the Fair Grove High School Boys Soccer Team upset the College Heights Soccer Team 4-0 and won the District Championship Title Thursday, November fourth.

The championship game was played at Carl Junction High School at Five P.M. on November fourth. Fair Grove was the third seed in the district and they had already played the second seed which was New Covenant Academy (NCA). They beat NCA and advanced to the final round of districts where they then faced College Heights. College Heights held the first seed in the district.

Brandon Kandlbinder (10) was on edge leading up to and during the game. He shared, “When I went into the College Heights game, I was severely nervous. We put too much time and effort into this season just to lose in the district championship.” Andrew Shurtz (12) is a captain on the team who was also nervous going into the game. Shurtz explained, “Going into the game against College Heights, I knew it’d be a tough game; I knew we would just have to come out and play hard to win.”

The Fair Grove Soccer Program had another addition this year with head coach Krista Miller stepping in and helping the boys on their journey. Although Miller is a first year coach, she already has a district championship title under her belt. However, she admits that it’s because of the hard work the team put in during the season. “It feels really great, but I know that it is due to the hard work of these boys and the skill and determination they bring to the field,” shared Miller.

A team that is seeded third doesn’t just go in and beat a team that is seeded first. It not only takes a lot of physical effort and determination, but it’s a huge mental game. Each individual player has to be willing to give everything for their team. It also takes a lot of preparation. However, things weren’t looking on the upside for Fair Grove on the preparation side of things. “Truthfully, we unexpectedly had an off week. When trying to review film, we ran into technology issues and even had a game that would have been great practice canceled due to weather,” explained Miller. She went on to say that when they did get the chance to be on the field to practice, they tried to stay positive and work as a unit.

In the last few minutes of the district championship game against College Heights, the team knew that all of their hard work had finally paid off. “At the last few minutes of the game, all the nervous pressure just lifted off my chest… we knew at that point we were Fair Grove Soccer District Champions,” shared Kandlbinder.

Because the Fair Grove Boys Soccer Team won the district championship title, they are advancing to sectionals against Laquey. Laquey is a team that they played in the regular season. Shurtz explained, “I expect the Laquey game to be a very good and well fought game. If we come out and play our game, then we can definitely win.”

The next stop for the Fair Grove Boys Soccer Team is sectionals, which will be held Saturday, November 13th at Laquey High School at 2:00 pm.

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