West Shore’s Varsity Boys’ soccer team is headed to the USF soccer field for the FHSAA State Finals Game this Friday, February 17. The Wildcats will be revisiting a former opponent, Berkeley Preparatory School, whom they lost to with a score of 6-0 just four years ago at a regular season home game.
According to Krehbiel, the team began to give up early and didn’t see the point of playing such a difficult team.
“I remember the players looking at me like ‘Coach, why in the world would we play them?’ and my response was always positive,” head soccer coach John Krehbiel said. “I tried to explain to them that unless we were challenged to play harder teams we would never get any better.”
The team was down by six points before the start of the second half when then-Junior Sebastian Crain offered the team a deal that would steer them clear of getting ‘slaughtered’.
“Their attitude of defeat got so bad that he told them if we didn’t lose by the slaughter rule, then he would buy the whole team pizza afterward,” Krehbiel said. “It worked, because we stopped Berkeley from scoring any more points, and we walked away with the knowledge that we turned our mindset around completely.”
Junior Liam Wixted made the varsity soccer team in 7th grade, and recounts that game as one that occurred during West Shore Soccer’s premature days.
“I didn’t play in that game because I was injured, but I remember getting destroyed,” Wixted said. “They were just a much more physical team, and had a better understanding of the game than we did at the time.”
Wixted explains how he expects the team to turn the tables this time, and is confident in the team’s motivation to win this game.
“It is encouraging more than anything to know that we’ve been given a chance to play them,” Wixted said. “I think we have a lot more on them than they have on us because they think it’s just going to be handed to them. That’s what happened with the Bolles.
Wixted continues to describe his excitement about the team’s metamorphosis.
“Everyone on the team has the right mindset now,” he said. “This is our chance to avenge ourselves. It’s motivation for all of us. We are the true underdog story.”