Thoughts about a perfect season
Nov 07, 2013 | 2573 views | 4 4 comments | 167 167 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sports Talk
Jack Deming
Sports Talk Jack Deming
It’s tough to match a singular word to Twin Valley’s soccer season. You could say it was remarkable, with 16 out of 17 games a shutout and you’d be right. You could say it was dominant, and with a season scoring line of 90-1, you would also be right. Another word that seems to fit is “destiny,” the stuff that dreams are made of. But whatever word you use, it’s clear that Twin Valley High School’s varsity soccer team was on a mission this year: to storm back into the Division IV championship and defeat the team that left them heartbroken last year.

Coach Buddy Hayford told me after the game that there was always an expectation that his boys would lose a game, after all, these are teenagers and they’re allowed a bad day. But when would that day come? That’s the stress that a perfect season causes, the expectation of a letdown. So as the playoffs neared that anxiety was evident in everyone who attended the final games. Would that bubble burst in the regular season? The semifinals? The quarterfinals? Or, be it forbidden, the finals?

Anyone will tell you, from their classmates with #WinValley signs, to the parents, and the one kid who made the great decision to wear the Wildcat mascot outfit, perfection comes with the price of expectation. The last time I saw a perfect season go up in flames in the last possible game, I ended up consoling a room full of shell-shocked college buddies from Boston (too soon, Pats fans?).

But this was a team of destiny. From the moment they walked off the field in South Royalton last year, this team’s seniors were focused. Basketball came and went, baseball, track, snowboarding, golf, the whole lot. And then came that first team meeting, practice, and game. It was evident, there was no stopping this team’s chemistry

Twin Valley set the pace early in their matchups, a trait that allowed them to deflate their opposition who were forced to play catch-up. While it took 48 minutes for the ‘Cats to score in their first matchup, in approximately half of Twin Valley’s games they came away with a score within the first five minutes.

There were many heroes this season on Twin Valley’s roster. Guys who stepped up and made the connections, the right kick at the right time, and made the team stronger. Some started strong, others bloomed late.

You could tell those special moments of celebration directly after Twin Valley’s fans counted down the last 10 seconds were a relief for players and fans alike. There were looks of disbelief, tears from players, parents, and siblings, and a loud, elated celebration back home.

It was a good day for all of those who had stood in the sun and the cold, or sat on the hill behind the high school to witness history. That sentiment was never more evident than Saturday night when Main Street was lined with adoring parents and classmates, all wanting to be a part of that special moment when their boys in red and white raised one finger to signify, they conquered their destiny.
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Nicki Steel
November 07, 2013
But, Jack, inquiring minds want to know. Are you now a certified soccer fan??
Holly Wheeler
November 07, 2013
Excellent article Jack. These boys were great on and off the field. They always looked and acted professional. We are so proud of them. Behind this great team is a man who is not taking the credit he deserves. Buddy Hayford is the backbone to this awesome team. Thank you Buddy for a great year.
susan courchesne
November 07, 2013
Thank you Jack Deming! Beautifully put, thank you for showing true Wildcat pride and representing our boys so well!! Amazing reporting the entire season, always looked forward to reading your write ups! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! GO WILDCATS!!
Cindy Bernard
November 07, 2013
Well said Jack - excellent article - Thank you!

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