The Marvin Ridge boys’ soccer team is on a mission.They have won 41 games over the past two seasons, including back-to-back Southern Carolina conference championships (tied with Weddington in 2012), but each time their season ended in a heartbreaking playoff loss to Charlotte Catholic.This year, with 11 seniors on the roster, Coach Jason Zak says his team has a different level of focus.“I don’t have to say a word when we go to practice,” said Zak, who is in his second year as head coach. “They know what is at stake. We have a strong core of seniors who know what it feels like to get close to the state finals and lose. We only have one goal this year: that is to win a state championship.”The Mavericks started working towards their goals before the season started, as Zak and co-captains Will Green, Matt Hawse and Will Green met to discuss everything from the team’s goals to their individual roles as captains.So far, Marvin Ridge is on track, as the Mavericks are 10-1 overall, 2-0 in the conference and ranked No. 1 in the 3A coaches’ poll.“We all know this is our last chance,” said Parker, who came back to Mavericks for his senior year after playing for the South Charlotte Academy team last season. “There is no next year.”Parker and his team have a blueprint for their goals, as the Marvin Ridge senior midfielder watched his older brother, Kyle Parker (now a starter for the Charlotte 49ers’ soccer team) help lead the 2009 Maverick team to a 3A state championship.This year’s team has actually talked about a lot of things the Maverick state title team did and are trying to follow that path.Parker has scholarship offers from the Air Force Academy and UNC Charlotte.“We knew all those guys and we looked up to them. Now, it’s our turn to prove we can accomplish the same things,” he said.“They saw what it means to win a state championship and all the energy and excitement it brings to the school,” Zak said.The Mavericks have looked strong this season, beating perennial 4A power Myers Park 2-1, then traveling to Charlotte Catholic Sept. 20 for a 4-1 win. The 2009 Marvin Ridge team beat Catholic at Marvin Ridge.The win over Charlotte Catholic meant a lot. Several former Marvin Ridge players came back from college to see the game. But won’t be happy unless they finish the season with a state championship.For the senior class, including Green, Hawse, Parker, Jason Corday, Chris Conneely, Collin David, Kyle Enoch, Eric Newsome, Daniel Smith, Alex Tate and exchange student Jimmy Boville, the time is now.“Our success isn’t going to be defined by one or two games,” Green said. “We have to make sure that each game is part of our road to our end goal: the state finals. We can’t take anything or any team for granted.”
Tuesday, Oct. 01, 2013
Marvin Ridge team ready to run all the way
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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