Knights on 3! Knights on 3! 1-2-3! KNIGHTS!
This cheer, commonly used by Upper School athletes, has been used by a large group of enthusiastic, spirited and extremely talented Middle School soccer players this year. The Episcopal Middle School girls and boys Navy teams are both in the Baton Rouge Soccer Club’s Middle School Division I finals! Don’t miss your opportunity to cheer the teams on this weekend.
Girls Navy team - Sunday, January 27th at 5 pm on Burbank soccer field 22
Boys Navy team – Sunday, January 27th at 1 pm on Burbank soccer field 20
The Episcopal girls are undefeated so far this year. In fact, Coach James Moroney says the team’s defense is so strong that they have only allowed one goal over the course of the seven games played. He says he has been impressed with the hard work and maturity exhibited by the players. “They deserve a lot of credit for their success,” he says. “There’s not a lot of quit in them. They have put in a lot of effort to get wins.”
Coach Moroney says when the call came out for Middle School soccer players, 46 girls expressed interest. With such passion and strong talent, Episcopal was able to field two teams. The Navy and Gold teams are comprised of sixth, seventh and eighth graders competing together in a fun atmosphere. While Moroney has coached the Navy team in addition to his role as a math teacher, the Gold team has been led by Taylor Rosson. Moroney says his goal for athletes on both teams is that they improve their game, grow in their understanding of the sport, learn teamwork and enjoy the experience. The Navy team’s winning season has been an added bonus.
The Episcopal boys squad has enjoyed similar success. The Navy team is slated to play in the tournament final with a record of 3 and 3. Coach Jeff McLean says the sixth, seventh and eighth graders have unbelievable talent in soccer, as well as other sports, including football and cross country. While McLean has led the Navy team, Ben Westra has served as coach of the Gold team. Coach McLean, who also teaches Upper School science, says he thinks the experience has helped students develop a sense of school spirit and camaraderie as they come together and wear an Episcopal jersey for the first time as a team.
Both Moroney and McLean look forward to seeing how the Middle School athletes grow and develop as Upper School athletes. “I expect the high school teams to be really competitive in the district with the girls who are coming up,” says Moroney of his Navy squad. “Some of the stuff we do prepares them for the routine of high school practice,” says McLean of the transition athletes make between Middle and Upper School. The talent on the teams has certainly not gone unnoticed by the Upper School athletic staff.
“We’re thrilled to see our boys and girls Navy teams competing for the DI championship in the BRSC Middle School Soccer League,” says Athletic Director Randy Richard. “We have some extremely talented soccer players in our middle school, something that our varsity coaching staff has been aware of through teaching and coaching these students in PE. It excites all of us to see and hear the excitement of each of these players as they compete to win against other schools in the city.”
Both Middle School teams have enjoyed tremendous support this season, with four coaches and an entire division behind them. Richard says the support from coaches McLean and Moroney has been exceptional. “These two gentlemen stepped in this year as middle school soccer coaches and have poured their heart and soul into their teams,” he says. “Having Episcopal Faculty and Staff coaching Episcopal students makes a huge difference on these teams.”
Both coaches, who are in their first year on staff at Episcopal, say the experience has been a rewarding way to get more involved at Episcopal. “I like interacting with the kids outside of school. You see a different side of students. They are respectful, good athletes,” says Coach McLean. Coach Moroney says as a high school soccer player himself he enjoys being involved with the team now. “I like working with the students and helping them have fun with it,” he says. This weekend’s run at dual championships should certainly be fun.
Good luck Middle School soccer players!
Do you love Middle School sports? Click here to check out the division’s athletics calendar.