Clayton-Bradley Academy is bringing home the school's first ever athletic team hardware for the trophy case! The Middle School JV Soccer team finished the Knoxville Independent School League tournament as Runner Up on Wednesday night. They lost in the championship game 2-0 to King's Academy, who was the top team in the league all year. But, it was a much improved performance, as last time they played on April 8th, CBA lost 6-1. The Blazers kept fighting hard no matter how many times The Lions tried to keep the ball pushing toward their side of the field. Both Goalkeepers Mia Adkins and Katia Biegalski made many great stops on all of their attacks, except one, where King's Academy All League player scored. The only other goal on the night was from a corner kick. The Blazers showed what it meant to play great defense and get the ball away. There were tons of encouraging and helpful comments to each other and the other team as well, as this team showed what it meant to play Blazer ball. After the match was over the whole team took a lap to thank the Blazer Nation, which was a sideline full of family and friends. These students were not sad, albeit dissapointed in the loss, they were proud of what they accomplished.
7th Grade Captains MJ Brooks and Michael DeMarchis were the voices that spoke to the team in pre game, as they asked Coach Tyler if they could share what they had prepared. "I was glad they took that leadership opportunity. I loved seeing them step up to that moment." Brooks shared her thoughts on the night and the season, "Our team put in so much effort this season! I have seen so much improvement in all of them. I am looking forward so much to next season." DeMarchis was also proud of their team, "Tonight was a close game, where we had our chances. It was so fun seeing so many CBA fans and faculty there to cheer us on. The last time we played King's Academy we were unprepared and lost 6-1. This game, everyone was so confident and we all played so hard. It was great to play this soccer season for CBA and with this team of students. We have improved so much since the beginning of the season and it is great to think that we are the first ever CBA team to make it to a championship."
Coach Tyler Beard was thrilled with her team's play on the night and the season, "I am really proud of how our team played today. We played really hard and fought until the end. Last time we played King's Academy they whooped our tail, but this time was a different story. We really held our own and saw a smaller score. We had a tough start to the season, learning to play and how to do it together. But we turned it around and started pulling out some wins toward the end and wound up making it to the championship. We are ready to come back next year and win it all!"
The Blazers finish the year at 4-5 overall (2-1 in their division). They won two games in dramatic fashion, coming through in the clutch, winning a low scoring game 1-0 against St John Neumann, fought hard with a couple of Varsity teams and ultimately made history to finish the season off. With the whole team being made up of 6th and 7th graders, expect this Middle School team to be a force next year, adding new 6th graders to, what should be, the whole team coming back for more.