TOP STORY: This year’s spring playoffs have been anything but predictable in the large-school classifications. This past week, Berkmar, with a largely ho-hum regular season, vaulted into the national picture with a Georgia Class AAAAAA title. Then there was Irmo in South Carolina, an eight-loss team in legendary coach Phil Savitz’s final year at the helm, collecting a surprise South Carolina Class 4A crown. So far, the only large-school state title favorites to seal the deal have been Omaha South (Neb.), Vestavia Hills (Ala.) and Northside (Ark.).
BIG MOVER: St. Joseph’s (Greenville, S.C.). Of the teams in last week’s ranking, St. Joseph’s made the greatest leap, moving up 16 spots after being the only pre-tournament favorite to end up with a state title in the Palmetto state.
NEWCOMERS: No. 19 Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.), No. 26 Houston County (Warner-Robins, Ga.), No. 27 Iowa City (Iowa City, Iowa), No. 30 Union (Camas, Wash.), No. 32 Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.), No. 33 Irmo (Columbia, S.C.), No. 34 Lexington (Lexington, S.C.), No. 39 Monacan (Richmond, Va.), No. 40 James River (Midlothian, Va.), No. 41 Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.), No. 43 Glynn Academy (Brunswick, Ga.), No. 46 Collins Hill (Suwanee, Ga.) and No. 50 Northside (Fort Smith, Ark.). Ten of those schools are making return visits to the ESR Top 50 this week.
NOTES: The spring season includes the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
Rankings through matches played as of May 19, 2013
|Rk.||School (City, State)||Record||Prev.|
|1||Mills Godwin (Henrico, Va.)||15-0-0||1|
|Cutter Jacobson and Pierce Aggen scored goals as Mills Godwin defeated Douglas Freeman 2-0. The teams meet again this week in the district tournament semifinals.|
|2||Omaha South (Omaha, Neb.)||23-0-0||2|
| Season complete. Nebraska Class A state champion.
School Facts: Public, 2,222 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Jose Marquez delivered the game-winning goal in the 75th minute as Omaha South capped a record-setting season in front of a record-setting crowd with a 1-0 state final victory over former ESR No. 1 Creighton Prep to end the season. The Packers delivered 133 goals and finished with 20 shutouts — both Nebraska state records — in winning the program’s first soccer state title, and first state championship of any kind since 1990. An announced crowd of 8,200 witnessed the final, which broke the previous state final record by more than 1,300 spectators. Junior standout Michael Jaime led the team with 30 goals and 13 assists, despite being listed as a defender and playing primarily a defensive roll against top-ranked teams. Senior Seyag Moreno, the team’s starting keeper, finished with 20 shutouts. Three seniors have committed to college soccer programs from a program that was a runner-up in 2010 and lost to eventual champ Creighton Prep in the 2011 and 2012 semifinals. This season’s Omaha South squad, coached by Joe Maass, is being touted as among the best high school teams ever assembled in Nebraska, and its case is buoyed by three shutout wins over Creighton Prep, which is loaded with college-bound talent, was averaging more than four goals per match and was aiming to become the first three-peat soccer state champion in Nebraska.
Fun Fact: Omaha South’s enrollment is capped at 2,222 — and the school had to turn away more than 150 potential freshmen during the 2012-13 school year.
|3||McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga.)||23-0-0||3|
| Season complete. Georgia Class AAAAA state champion.
School Facts: Public, 1,600 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Georgia State signee Saloman Lorenzo scored the first goal, and that’s was generally enough, as McIntosh defeated Houston County 2-0 in the Georgia Class AAAAA state final. Chris Perez added a goal to cap the scoring. Lorenzo, the Gatorade Player of the Year for Georgia, finished the season with 24 goals and 28 assists. McIntosh recorded 21 shutouts in 2013 and allowed only two goals. In addition to pinning the only loss on Houston County, McIntosh defeated Class AAAAAA state runner-up Collins Hill 3-0, perennial AAAAAA state challenger Starr’s Mill 3-0. The team is coached by Bunky Colvin.
Fun Fact: Peachtree City, a suburb of Atlanta, has a 90-mile network of multiuse paths for pedestrians, cyclists and golf cart drivers. In fact, it’s not unusual to see teens driving golf carts around the community as a main mode of transportation since the posted age to drive a golf cart in Peachtree City is 12, provided the youngster is accompanied by an adult.
|4||St. Pius (Atlanta, Ga.)||19-0-2||4|
| Season complete. Georgia Class AAA state champion.
School Facts: Private, 1,000 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Tyler Alexander, a senior who starred on St. Pius’ national No. 1 team in 2011, scored the first goal and J.D. Manzo added an insurance tally in the second half as St. Pius defeated Woodward Academy 2-0 in the state final. The victory marked St. Pius’ third title in five seasons and completed a boys-girls title sweep, as the St. Pius girls won a Class AAA crown earlier in the day. Ryan Beck recorded the shutout for St. Pius, which had 16 on the season. The team is coached by David O’Shea.
Fun Fact: St. Pius’ most notable soccer product is Ricardo Clark, a member of the U.S. National Team and the MLS Houston Dynamo. Clark spent three seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany’s top division.
|5||Dalton (Dalton, Ga.)||22-0-0||5|
| Season complete. Georgia Class AAAA state champion.
School Facts: Public, 1,450 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Salvador Rodriguez scored twice before Eder Mora, Daniel Palacios and Ramiro Huitanda added goals as Dalton ripped Southeast Whitfield 5-0 in the state final for the program’s first outright state title. Dalton defeated Southeast Whitfield three times this season, and that’s the same Southeast Whitfield squad that tied Top 25-ranked East Coweta. The Catamounts tied in the 2003 state final. Huitanda finished his career with a school-record 87 goals.
Fun Fact: Dalton has been involved in a student exchange program with its sister school Gerhart-Hauptmann since 1996.
|6||Franklin (Franklin, Tenn.)||15-0-2||7|
|Matt Brady and Jimmy Wester scored goals in both Franklin’s last two matches — a 2-0 win over Ravenwood and a 6-0 victory over Hendersonville, which vaults the team into the state tournament for the first time since 2002.|
|7||Oakton (Vienna, Va.)||13-0-2||8|
|Oakton edged Robinson 3-2 to win the district tournament title to go along with the league season crown. The team starts regional postseason play this week.|
|8||Vestavia Hills (Vestavia Hills, Ala.)||29-1-1||9|
| Season complete. Alabama Class 6A state champion.
School Facts: Public, 1,875 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Jerrod Nieves delivered the match-winning penalty kick as Vestavia Hills won the Alabama Class 6A state crown in a shootout over rival Oak Mountain. The teams played four times with Vestavia Hills winning three and Oak Mountain winning one.
Fun Fact: Trey Hardee, the Olympic Decathlon silver medalist at the 2012 London Games, is a 2002 graduate of Vestavia Hills. Hardee was an NCAA champion and record-setter in the decathlon and heptathlon before embarking on an international career.
|9||South Lakes (Reston, Va.)||15-1-0||10|
|Maryland signee Suliaman Dainkeh scored one of the team’s three goals as South Lakes defeated Langley 3-1 in the district tournament final on Friday.|
|10||Lake Braddock (Burke, Va.)||11-0-5||11|
|Aaron Hollins scored twice to lead Lake Braddock to a 3-1 win over Top 50-ranked W.T. Woodson in the district tournament final.|
|11||Blacksburg (Blacksburg, Va.)||13-0-2||13|
|Harrison Bankhead and Geinda Smith had three-goal outings last week as Blacksburg wrapped up an undefeated regular season with a three-win week.|
|12||Tuscarora (Leesburg, Va.)||15-0-2||14|
|Angel Ceron-Garcia scored seven goals over two matches against Loudoun Valley last week as Tuscarora completed an undefeated regular season. Ceron-Garcia scored four in the team’s 8-1 victory then three days later netted three in a 5-0 win.|
|13||Brighton (Salt Lake City, Utah)||17-1-0||18|
|Portland signee Matt Coffey scored twice to lift Brighton to a 3-1 win over Weber and into the Utah Class 5A state semifinals.|
|14||Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa)||15-1-0||17|
|Iowa City West had no problem dispatching Waterloo East (10-1) and Wahlert (3-0) last week to run its win streak to 15 matches.|
|15||Snohomish (Snohomish, Wash.)||19-1-0||19|
|Snohomish benefitted from a pair of own goals in a 3-0 victory over Camas in the Washington Class 4A state quarterfinals. Camas was making its Class 4A debut after spending the past decade as a Class 3A power.|
|16||Jefferson (Auburn, Wash.)||16-0-4||22|
|Brandon Madsen was the team’s offensive standout last week with two goals and three assists, carrying the squad into this week’s state semifinals. Madsen had a goal and three assists in Jefferson’s 5-2 win over Mariner, followed by the lone goal in a 1-0 decision over Inglemoor.|
|17||Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, Tenn.)||13-0-1||26|
|A rash of playoff surprises leaves Montgomery Bell as the last undefeated team and favorite in Tennessee’s Division II-AA playoff race.|
|18||Johnston (Johnston, Iowa)||16-1-0||24|
|Sam Graving and Darius Dowell scored the goals as Johnston posted a pair of 1-0 wins last week to hang on to its No. 2 state ranking.|
|19||Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.)||16-5-1||NR|
| Season complete. Georgia Class AAAAAA state champion.
School Facts: Public, 2,900 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Berkmar put an 0-3-1 start in the past and pulled out a 2-0 state title win over Collins Hill, ending the fellow Gwinnett County’s two-year run as state champions. Collins Hill beat Berkmar 2-0 early in the season. But in the final, Kofi Twumasi and Awey Houry scored second-half goals to lift the program to its first state title.
Fun Fact: Berkmar coach Tracy Crouch guided Parkview to a state title in 2005 and previously had Parkview programs that spent time at No. 1 in the nation before taking over the Berkmar program.
|20||East Coweta (Sharpsburg, Ga.)||19-1-1||6|
| Season complete. Georgia Class AAAAAA state semifinalist
School Facts: Public, 2,800 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Connor Antley and Ian Antley scored to give East Coweta a 2-1 lead, but the team could not hold on in a state semifinal shootout loss to eventual champ Berkmar followed a 2-2 contest.
Fun Fact: Although East Coweta’s school history dates to 1917, the current formal school was started in 1946 as a merger of Haralson, Raymond, Starr and Senoia schools.
|21||Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.)||21-3-1||23|
| Season complete. Alabama Class 6A state runner-up.
School Facts: Public, 1,715 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Oak Mountain’s season ended with a penalty kick setback to Vestavia Hills in the Class 6A state final. All three of the team’s losses were to Vestavia Hills this season.
Fun Fact: Oak Mountain, which was established in 1999, received the prestigious Blue Ribbon School designation in 2011. Only six public high schools in Alabama have ever achieved this honor.
|22||E.C. Glass (Lynchburg, Va.)||15-1-1||27|
|E.C. Glass, whose only setback is to Blacksburg, completed a perfect run through district play last week. The upcoming playoffs will be the challenge to this team’s current ranking.|
|23||Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.)||17-4-0||28|
| Season complete. Nebraska Class A state runner-up.
School Facts: Private, all-boys, 1,025 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Creighton Prep’s bid to become the first three-peat champion in Nebraska came up short in a 1-0 state final loss to Omaha South. Creighton Prep lost three times to Omaha South and split its two matches with Grand Island. Creighton Prep’s lineup featured Creighton signee Alex Prusa and Nebraska-Omaha signee Mark Moulton.
Fun Fact: Rex Barney, a former Major League Baseball player who made a name for himself as a public address announcer, was a graduate of Creighton Prep. He served as the PA announcer for the Baltimore Orioles from 1974 until his death in 1997, and was known for two famous sayings: “Give that fan a contract” any time a spectator made a snagged a foul ball, and “Thank-youuuu” with a drawn out ending at the conclusion of each game.
|24||Grand Island (Grand Island, Neb.)||15-1-0||29|
| Season complete. Nebraska Class A state semifinalist.
School Facts: Public, 2,200 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Grand Island climbed as high as No. 5 in the ESR Top 50 before falling to playoff nemesis Creighton Prep 3-2 in the state semifinals. Grand Island had defeated Creighton Prep earlier in the season.
Fun Fact: Tom Rathman, a former NFL fullback who was a standout at Nebraska before winning two Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers, is a Grand Island graduate. Rathman currently coaches the running backs for the 49ers.
|25||Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.)||13-2-0||32|
| Season complete. Oklahoma Class 6A state champion.
School Facts: Public, 2,500 students in grades 9-12.
Notes: Sam Brown delivered the decisive goal to lift Edmond North to a 2-1 victory over Norman North in the state final, handing Norman North its only regulation loss of the season. The team’s other three defeats were in shootouts. Edmond North trailed 1-0 at halftime before Clay Collier scored on a header to tie the match followed by Brown’s winner. The victory marked the second title for Edmond North’s program, the first coming in 2004.
Fun Fact: Former Edmond North standout Bright Dike is a member of the MLS Portland Timbers.
|26||Houston County (Warner Robins, Ga.)||21-1-0||NR|
|27||Iowa City (Iowa City, Iowa)||13-2-0||NR|
|28||W.T. Woodson (Fairfax, Va.)||13-3-0||33|
|29||Cosby (Midlothian, Va.)||11-2-2||31|
|30||Union (Camas, Wash.)||15-2-4||NR|
|31||St. Joseph’s (Greenville, S.C.)||18-3-0||47|
|32||Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.)||20-3-0||NR|
|33||Irmo (Columbia, S.C.)||17-8-0||NR|
|34||Lexington (Lexington, S.C.)||17-10-1||NR|
|35||Starr’s Mill (Fayetteville, Ga.)||16-5-1||50|
|36||Dutch Fork (Irmo, S.C.)||17-6-1||38|
|37||Wando (Mount Pleasant, S.C.)||22-1-0||39|
|38||Norman North (Norman, Okla.)||13-4-0||40|
|39||Monacan (Richmond, Va.)||11-3-0||NR|
|40||James River (Midlothian, Va.)||11-2-2||NR|
|41||Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.)||14-2-2||NR|
|42||Jenks (Jenks, Okla.)||12-3-1||43|
|43||Glynn Academy (Brunswick, Ga.)||18-1-1||NR|
|44||Owasso (Owasso, Okla.)||15-2-0||45|
|45||Norman (Norman, Okla.)||12-2-0||46|
|46||Collins Hills (Suwanee, Ga.)||17-6-0||NR|
|47||Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.)||17-4-0||35|
|48||Centennial (Roswell, Ga.)||18-3-0||41|
|49||Lambert (Suwanee, Ga.)||16-4-0||49|
|50||Northside (Fort Smith, Ark.)||25-1-0||NR|