High School Sports

9 thoughts: Coast soccer teams 'turn up' celebrations

VIDEO: St. Stanislaus soccer celebrates 3rd straight title

St. Stanislaus' soccer team defeated Amory 3-1 on Saturday to win its third straight championship. For more, visit SunHerald.com.
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St. Stanislaus' soccer team defeated Amory 3-1 on Saturday to win its third straight championship. For more, visit SunHerald.com.

"Someone get the tape!"

That'll be one of my lasting memories from last Saturday's soccer championship games in Madison.

Out of the three games I covered that perfect day, Stone's boys won for the first time in school history and St. Stanislaus earned its eighth.

The two celebrations were pretty different to me -- you can go back and watch the videos for yourself at SunHerald.com.

The Rockachaws, with a large number back from its previous titles, had a much more measured celebration -- although the gold ball was a casualty (more on that later).

Coach Ryan Joiner threw his hands in the air, hugged Carter St. Mary on the sidelines and the rest of the team sort of followed suit at midfield.

Been there, done that. SSC was clearly proud of its accomplishment, but Stone's celebration Saturday night went to another level.

2. 'So ... turn up'

Where the Rockachaws had the game well in hand when the final whistle blew, the Tomcats needed a late overtime goal and then withstood several chances to secure their first title.

Peyton Phillips, the late-goal hero, was zapped. After having scored the back-door game-winner -- and subsequently freeing himself from the goal's netting which had snatched the small sophomore like a cobweb -- Phillips karate kicked the corner flag in celebration.

Asked about what had occurred, Phillips did his best to put his emotions into words.

"I didn't even expect it. It just came up. I was caught off guard and I tried to capitalize on it and I guess I did and I scored and we won," Phillips spit out in one big stream of consciousness. "This is the first time Stone has ever won state, so ... turn up."

And they did.

The players flooded onto the field and didn't stop dancing until they shut off the lights at Madison Central.

One player walked behind Hunt while being interviewed and laid a big smooch on the golden ball. Sweet success.

Several of the Tomcats even "dabbed" in the medal line.

3. Elite SSC




Those were some of the words used to describe the Rockachaw's three-peat, a first for a Coast boys team.

What about "dynasty?"

That's not a term that's thrown about lightly but SSC deserves it.

4. Tale of the tape

So, whodunit?

While SSC's celebration seemed much more business-like, there was a bit of chaos after someone dropped the golden ball during the celebration, snapping the trophy's neck.

No one fessed up post-game.

After thrusting the ball into the air as a group and jumping around, the Rockachaws took turns kissing their prize. As the ball was being exchanged -- thud. Everyone's heads shot to the ground.

Maybe the fumble was to be expected; they are soccer -- not football or baseball -- players, after all.

The broken trophy didn't dampen the team's history-making win.

Now, someone get the tape!

5. When does college football start?

With signing day now behind us, the college football season should be starting any day now, right?

It feels like that sometimes, anyway.

Well, on Tuesday, ESPN released its initial Preseason Football Power Index (FPI), which it uses to "determine the best and worst teams heading into next season."

The rating -- which combines the last four seasons of performance, returning starters, four-year average recruiting ranking and head coaching tenure -- is supposed to measure a team's strength, but isn't supposed to rank who will have the most wins or make it to the College Football Playoff.

That's a lot to digest, but I'm not sure anyone else has a better method to tackle the guess work.

6. So who's positioned best?

No surprise here: the SEC dominated the FPI's top 10. LSU (1), Tennessee (5), Alabama (6), Ole Miss (7), Georgia (9) all ranked in the top 10. LSU is supposed to have the third-best offense and second-ranked defense. Alabama will have the top defense but just the 22nd offense.

Ole Miss is projected to be ninth and 13th respectively.

Mississippi State ranked 22nd overall with the 19th-best offense and No. 30 defense.

Other regional teams of interest: Southern Miss ranked 90th (78th offense, 98th defense); Tulane ranked 106th (115th defense; 98th defense); and South Alabama ranked 120th out of 128 (123rd offense, 109th defense).

7. Wolverines in Florida

Who didn't spring break in Florida?

If SEC commissioner Greg Sankey gets his way, apparently the Michigan football team.

Coach Jim Harbaugh loves to stir things up and go against the norm. In a recent decision, his Wolverines plan to conduct part of their spring practice at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

According to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, Sankey has asked the NCAA to prohibit such a move.

"Our primary reaction (is) that, in the face of the time-demand conversations, we've got one program taking what has been 'free time' away," Sankey said to Dodd. "Let's draw a line and say, 'That's not appropriate.'"

Harbaugh's satellite camps last year in SEC territory miffed the conference -- "In my America, you're allowed to cross state borders," he famously said.

Now this.

8. Go with it

I can see both sides of the issue. Michigan wants to pull more kids from talent-rich Florida and will essentially hold spring training in the Sunshine State.

Can you blame him when you consider -- according to Rivals.com -- Michigan had one five-star recruit, eight four-stars and 29 three-stars in the 2016 class; Florida had four five-stars and 42 four-stars.

If Harbaugh wants his players to work during spring break rather than rest in an effort to land better recruits (Michigan signed six Florida recruits in '16, compared to three from its own state) then so be it.

Harbaugh is looking for any kind of advantage he can get and the Wolverines are willing to spend the money to make it happen.

9. What's next

If Sankey can't get the NCAA to shut down Harbaugh's trip South, one has to wonder what's next?

How will the SEC machine respond? You know it's coming -- although a spring break trip to beautiful Livonia, Mich. probably isn't in the works. After all, "planes don't fly north."

As always, thanks for reading.

Patrick Ochs, a Sun Herald sports reporter, can be reached at pochs@sunherald.com or followed on Twitter at PatrickOchs.

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