Red Rocks

Red Rocks

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ND State Boys Soccer in Mandan

So the boys got a good nights sleep and showed up ready to play. There really wasn't much doubt as Century scored in the first half on a free kick with Rauhauser scoring. Then in the second half Hunter took a ball from the left wing and pounded it off the post so low and so hard that it bounced off the left post and hit Kessler in the back and went in solid. BHS got all bent out of shape and got no less than 8 cards, most of which were for whining and complaining to the referee after he'd blown the whistle. The Patriots controlled the entire second half and T.J. Gunsch put it away with a breakaway 1 on 1 with Kessler the Bismarck Goalie.

At this point I have to interject on behalf of this young man. His name is Austin Mack and he is the hardest working young man I have encountered for a long time. He is a full time student at Dickinson High School who runs cross-country and track for them, but in the fall he is a soccer machine. Dickinson has no soccer so he petitioned the NDHSAA to coop with a west region school to play soccer. Mandan (quite unwittingly) refused to take him so Century (wisely) said yes. What we have gotten in return is 2 of the finest years of selfless defending one could ever hope to witness. This young man has the best combination of body control, strength, and speed that I have witnessed in 10 years of ND High School soccer. Yeah, somebody beat the keeper and put in three goals, but Austin seriously kicked some ass. He and Matt McArthur took no prisoners when the other teams brought the ball into the house. How about 5-0. 1-0, and 3-0 for the tournament.
"Nuff said.

Here is Hunter picking up his first place trophy after two very disappointing second place finishes in 2009 and 2010.

Also let me say that this team has no bad boys, no whiners, and they all played their hearts out because Joel expected it of them. And don't forget Krista Grey, who as the highest ranking female coach in ND boys Soccer taught these young men more than a thing or two about what being a real man is all about.

And this picture says it all: 20 young men who worked hard, persevered when they were 3-3-0 and ended up marching through the 2011 State tournament unscored upon.

A huge thank you to Coach Joel Jahnke and his assistant Krista. For the record, Joel's record as head coach of Century is extraordinary: His teams have finished 1st, 5th, 2nd, 2nd, and 1st in state during his tenure. He accomplished this with 4 seniors in 2010, and 3 Seniors in 2011. Hint: The entire state of North Dakota should be doing something to try and derail the Century TRAIN. I can't believe that anybody with any sense isn't picking Century to repeat in 2012.

And here is Hunter's goal in the 2011 Championship game.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Semifinal Day at the NDHSBSST

Century got the 5:00 game against St. Mary's and a weird one it was. Century scored on a free kick about 2 minutes in and that was it. You read that correctly, another 78 minutes of soccer with no more scoring. Century controlled the ball, set the tone, and got most of the shots despite St. Mary's having a goal disallowed for an offensive foul in the box. Meanwhile, the temporary "Papa's Pumpkin Patch set up near the speedway grandstand started on fire. It took the Mandan Fire Dept. a good 25 minutes to respond and then the thing smoldered for the rest of the game.

2nd semi was the Bismarck High School Demons (many of whom are Hunter's old teammates from Capital City Soccer) who got off to a poor start, allowing Fargo Shanley to score twice in the first 10 minutes. After that, however, it was all Bismarck as they scored twice in the first half to tie it, and the game winner with 20 minutes left. Fargo Shanley has some really talented players and are well coached but the "flops" got old fast and by the second half the referee was not willing to call any foul that had resulted in a Shanley player on the ground. Reap what you sow....

Tomorrow St. Mary's gets another shot at Shanley (they tied tied the only other time they played) and then the big one is CHS vs. BHS at 3:00. On paper Century is the much better team, but BHS has the 12 Senior vs. The CHS 3 Seniors (none of whom are in the top 5 Century players.)

We have lots of fans coming to the game: Grandma Bonnie is already here, Auntie Susan and kids are coming, Uncle Tom if he gets back from Glendive or Dilworth in time, Uncle Mike and Aunt Shelly were at the game tonight and will be there tomorrow.

We're trying to break a little jinx here tomorrow. Neither Mike nor I ever won a state championship, Joe got 2nd twice in soccer and went to state 2-3 time in hockey, and now Hunter has taken second place twice in soccer as well. Could this be the year that a Towle finally plays on a State Championship team? Stay tuned tomorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011 North Dakota High School Boys Soccer Tournament

So here we go again. Century is seeded #1 from the West for the third year in a row. As you may know from previous posts they took 2nd in 2008, losing to Fargo South. They took 2nd in 2009, losing to West Fargo in overtime.

This year they got off on the right foot by soundly defeating Fargo Davies 5-0. Hunter missed 2 shots from inside the 6, and then was absolutely taken out by the keeper on his 3rd attempt. The keeper gets a yellow card and Hunter's friend Alec pounded home the penalty kick.

Hunter also was interviewed by one of the local TV stations about his "helmet" and concussion history. It was a nice story and actually discussed an important topic during the 6:00 sports.

In the other afternoon game St. Mary's came from behind to tie West Fargo 2-2 in regulation. It was scoreless through 2 overtimes and then St Mary's won the shootout 4-2.

In the evening games Fargo Shanley handled Minot easily 3-0, and Bismarck really took it to Fargo South leading 2-0 at halftime after playing into the wind and driving rain. I will update that score when I know the final.

What it means is a rubber match between Century and St Mary's in one bracket, and a showdown between West #2 BHS and East #1 Fargo Shanley in the other. Just guessing that the Bismarck firepower and home cooking will win out, and Century will outplay St Mary's for the other spot. CHS vs. BHS Final? Very Likely.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

8th grade Soccer Champs

Luke and Will's 8th grade soccer team the Horizon Huskies won the city tournament over the weekend. On Friday they beat St. Mary's by a score of 3-1. On Saturday morning they defeated the Wachter Purple team 3-2, and then Saturday afternoon on the big field in Mandan they crushed the previously undefeated Wachter White team 7-2. Will played primarily central defender and some midfield, while Luke spent most of his time at mid. They both took some nice corner kicks and played some good defense. After the game we all went to a celebration at the home of teammate Ethan. It was an absolutely gorgeous evening and the boys played the whole time. I think this is the first time these two have ever won a championship - I remember many 2nd and 3rd place finishes in multiple sports so it was nice to see them get the win. Next year they have to try out for the Century varsity team which is cool since that will be Hunter's Senior year. Odds are slim but it would be really fun if they would get a chance to play on the field with their big (HA!) older brother. Congratulations Luke and Will!