This fall, NGFS boys varsity soccer experienced an exciting playoff season. The team began their winning streak by clinching the conference championship against Oak Ridge Military Academy on Saturday, Oct. 15. This qualified them for the state playoffs. Three intense games were played with the team advancing at each round. The season came to a close with the final championship game on Saturday, Oct. 29, when the team secured the championship over a tough Piedmont Classical team, winning 6-0. Director of Athletics Phil Tockman said about the win, “This was a total team effort to cap off a magical season. These young men came together on and off the field to form a bond that cannot be broken. Head Coach Scott Fleming has been the driving force behind the daily lessons that have made them better players and better people. They are outstanding representatives of the New Garden community and we are all very proud of them.”
Congratulations to the team on becoming the CAASC Boys Soccer State Champions! View photos from the final games.
Head Coach Scott Fleming reflects on the season below,
“When our season began in the hot days of August, I don’t think any of us would have imagined it ending in such a way! With Jake Honeycutt’s conditioning and Ethan Kelly’s drills we began focusing on the fundamentals of fighting for every ball and passing. Brandon notably answered the call for a goalie! Our early season reflected our need to continue to focus on the fundamentals and playing as a team with losses to Forsyth Country Day, Bishop McGuiness and Oak Ridge Military Academy. We played well but did not sustain our effort or team play.
For me the turning point in the season took place in our home loss to Durham Academy. After trailing 7 to 0 at the half we switched to a 5-4-1 formation strengthening our defense and the coaching staff challenged the team to allow no more goals. Against an incredibly talented team the second half ended 1-1. Despite the loss it was our best half of the year to date. I was so proud of the team.
We also lost one of our captains, Kennedy, to an injury in that game. And while that thankfully turned out to be much less serious than we thought our team had to find itself without him. They could have quit or taken it less seriously, but the team responded.
The very next game we played was against Noble and despite being down 1-0 and 2-1 we didn’t quit and forced it to overtime, and then into penalty kicks while playing overtime a man down. We lost the game but won so much more. The team was developing skills and confidence.
Kennedy returned and our magical run began with a win against Noble followed by a win at Oak Ridge to claim our conference championship.
Our playoff games saw us on the road in Raleigh for two straight games where we played perhaps our best game of the season against a very strong Thales-Rolesville team coming away with a 2-0 win. Our defense was exceptional with field player Sean even saving a goal!
After the game several parents shared with me how well and clean they thought we played despite a vocal crowd. That made me as proud as anything this season.
Next, we defeated Miller’s Creek Christian 6- 4 to advance to the championship game. It was a great game that showcased our teamwork and challenged us when they pulled close late in the second half.
Before the championship game with Noble, a Miller’s Creek parent stopped me to wish us well and said that our team had played the cleanest game against them all year! That speaks volumes to how this team grew together in ways that were more important than just winning.
Special thanks to Phil for all of his help in keeping them focused on what matters most. To our captains, Kennedy, Alex, and Ari, for providing leadership, and to our all conference players Kennedy, Jon, and Brandon - each in their own way were driving forces behind our team success.
I am proud of these boys and what they have accomplished. They grew together as individual players and as a team. It was a total team effort and while some boys played more or scored more than others, each and every player played a special role on this team and we could not have done what we did without each and every one of them! Go Bears!”
Order a limited edition tshirt honoring boys varsity soccer as the 2016 CAASC state champions!