Both the Glenwood girls and boys soccer teams finished out their seasons on top of AISA on Saturday, winning state championships at the Emory Folmar soccer complex in Montgomery, Ala.
For the girls, it was nothing new. They have won three straight AISA state titles. On the boys side, it was a brand new experience for a program still relatively in its infancy.
The boys program started just three years ago. Before that, the school had a co-ed league. The past two years, the Gators, featuring a lot of athletes but not a ton of pure soccer players, made it as far as the state semifinals. This year, they got over the hump and won it all.
“It was emotional,” coach Jason Robertson (no relation to girls coach John Robertson) said. “When I inherited the program, you know, I’m just a community coach. So they approached me with a challenge. It’s just rewarded because that first group was so young. They spent the first couple of years developing into a soccer team instead of just a bunch of athletes.”
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In the state championship game, the boys defeated Tuscaloosa Academy 3-0. Jerome Cook got the scoring started in the game, and Mikey Starke finished it with the team’s second and third goals of the game. Those two players also shared goal keeping duties in the shutout.
Glenwood finished the season with a 10-2 overall record.
The Lady Gators, meanwhile, had their success despite what coach John Robertson said may have been the toughest of the three championship runs. After winning one, the second seemed like much less pressure. This year, though, they got every team’s A-plus effort, making things much more difficult than in the past.
On the surface, at least.
Glenwood pitched shutouts in all three playoff games, including a 3-0 win over Lee-Scott in the finale. Keeper Maloreigh Todd and the rest of the defense was responsible for the unblemished number in the postseason.
“If we put one in the back of the net, we felt pretty good about our chances,” John Robertson said.
In the final game, Glenwood got goals from Whitley Anderson, Emmalee Gullatt and Teri Hodge. Jenna Wilson assisted the first two scores. Gullatt, Hodge and Wilson each made the All-Tournament team, while Anderson was named tournament MVP.
“Finishing this one was really nice,” John Robertson said. “The great thing is, I only have two seniors leaving the team.”
The Lady Gators finished the season with a 14-1 record.