The Richmond Hill Middle School boys’ soccer team won its second Coastal Empire Region Championship Tuesday at RHHS. The Wildcats defeated Ebenezer Middle School 5-0 in the finals to end the season undefeated, with a 10-0 season record.
"I’m real proud of these guys," RHMS head coach Jeff Maiden said. "And they deserve to be proud of themselves. This was not chance or luck – they worked hard for it, and this title means a lot to them – especially the eighth graders who now move on to high school as back-to-back champions. They have set the standard for years to come."
Last year, the RHMS Wildcats were the underdogs when they took the region title. This year, they were the number one seed and pretty well dominated the region throughout the season. The team had merely three points scored against them all season - and one was a penalty kick. On the other hand, the 'Cats scored 42 goals throughout the season.
Maiden said he knew Ebenezer would be a tough final match because they were one of their toughest region foes during the season.
"And this game was pretty much the same," he said. "No two ways about it, Ebenezer has a good soccer team. Our guys were just ‘on’ from start to finish. They (Wildcats) kept in rhythm and in communication. It was a full team effort as everyone took the field during the match."
The Wildcats began the finals by immediately storming down the field and scoring, with Blake Wilson scoring the first goal. Kenneth Adams and Jonathan Hatala scored two goals apiece.
The score was 4-0 going into the second half and "our strategy was containment at that point," Maiden said.
Maiden said many of his players are on local Select teams and play year-round soccer which has proven to be a great asset to his program – and also to the corresponding high school program. Maiden, who is in his third year as coach, said he looks forward to future years of high school ball, where he expects his former players to perform well.
This marks the second year in a row that both the RMMS boys' and girls' teams won the region title.