The Manchester Academy boys soccer team ended their season on Feb. 17 after falling 4-3 in second overtime during a tough matchup against Delta Streets Academy.
Head Coach Byron Kelly said that the Mavericks were leading the game 3-1 until some penalties were called on the Manchester boys in the second half.
"We had two unfortunate calls in the box and gave up two penalty kicks," he said. "It was very unlucky and that is how they were able to tie up the game."
Despite this loss, Kelly said he was happy to see how successful the Mavericks were this year in turning the school's soccer program around.
"We have been in a building process all season, and toward the end we got a lot better, and we were really looking like a soccer team," he said. "We had a couple of really tough practices over Christmas break this year and it seemed like the light turned on to what I have been coaching and teaching them. This year was a lot of building and learning, but that gives them something to look forward to for next year, and hopefully make it to the playoffs again."
Kelly said that he believes that leadership from the senior players is what turned the team around. Those five seniors include Reid Bain, Matt Carroll, Colby Stevens, Matthew Turner, and Ty Kilpatrick.
Kelly added that Matt Carroll was named to the All District team recently, and Reid Bain was named to the All State Team, and will also be playing in the All Star Game on March 5 hosted by Carroll Academy.
"That is a big honor for those boys and I am proud of them for receiving that," he said.
Kelly said that now that the team has bought in to his teaching and coaching strategies, he hopes that the younger players will continue to build and move the program forward.
"I had about 8 seventh graders this year and they are a really talented bunch of boys," he said. "Some of them are going to have to step into some big roles for me next year and I think that is something they are very capable of doing."
Kelly also gave special thanks to all of the parents and family members of players who supported the team this year.
"They all bought in to what we were doing this year too and I think that is what helped our boys and helped our team this season," he said.