Boys soccer wins EKL Championship

With a win over Gardner Edgerton last night, the soccer team claimed the EKL championship title for the third year in a row.

The boys soccer team defeated Gardner Edgerton last night, 6-0, and improved their record to 11-3-1. This win led to the program’s third straight Eastern Kansas League (EKL) championship in the last three years. According to head coach Rick Pribyl, this is an interesting achievement because this means the program has won 26 straight EKL league games.

“I don’t know of any other teams at the school who have done something like that,” Pribyl said. “I don’t know of any other soccer team in the district who does something like that. It’s very rare. When you consider the fact that the soccer in this community is so competitive, it’s a nice achievement.”

The team played well last night, Pribyl said, and they carried on their intensity from this past weekend against CBC and Chaminade high schools against Gardner. Pribyl attributes the team’s success to the players’ heart, dedication and teamwork.

“I just want them to understand the tradition and the bar they have set for everyone else,” Pribyl said. “Anything they accomplish this year will be a role model for next year’s team, just like last year’s team was for this team.”

According to Pribyl, the downfall of winning the EKL championship for three consecutive years is how every opponent the team faces tries to knock them down. Other teams come out and play their best, Pribyl said.

“We weren’t on top of our game as much at the beginning of the season,” senior Sam Taylor said. “After a couple losses we really started putting everything we had into every game, so winning EKL feels really great.”

With 16 seniors graduating last year and a third place finish in the state, the previous team left big shoes to fill for the 2013 season, Taylor said. Now that this year’s team has worked to build strong ties and find success, senior Tyler Cross agrees with Taylor in that the boys are looking to go above their achievements last year.

“Even though we lost [16 seniors] we were able to work together and make it happen, even when people didn’t expect us to be able to,” Cross said. ” We want to keep going to win regionals and state, and I think we have a really good chance to do it.”

Although the boys said their ultimate goal is to become state champions, Pribyl said the team still must focus on the little skills that could lead to more wins in their upcoming games.

“The goal is to keep improving,” Pribyl said. “Whatever we are weak at, we try to work on that. The neat thing about soccer is that you’re always trying to achieve that perfect game, and you never do. But it’s still worth the quest.”