The next wave of soccer talent in Severna Park is off to a winning start.
The Green Hornets Lads 2010 soccer team will enter play this fall fresh off a league championship in the Anne Arundel Youth Soccer Association U9 2nd Division.
The team of Ben Baxter, Brady Smith, Carter Browning, Cole Shinaberry, Heath Gardner, Henry Singer, Hudson Grow, Landon Clewley, Luke Raino, Miles McGuinness, Nicholas Wintermyer and Owen DiMauro finished undefeated at 9-0 in the six-team AAYSA U9 second tier.
In doing so, Severna Park’s U9’s produced their second consecutive championship season, having gone 7-2 to finish in first place in AAYSA 3rd Division in the fall of 2018.
Despite expecting some growing pains against stiffer competition in the higher division, the Lads instead ran the table, scoring a whopping 69 goals and allowing only six goals in nine wins.
Head coach Ian Grow said the Lads were able to grasp and employ advanced concepts in continuing their success from the fall.
“We’ve been teaching defense and passing,” said Grow, who coaches the Lads with assistant coach Mark Gardner. “At their age, a lot of the other teams are just kicking and chasing. We put a philosophy in place last fall, and the kids carried over into the spring from the very first practice. They understood their roles and what we were teaching them, which is to move to space, and defense wins. I’m more proud of giving up only six goals all season than scoring almost 70.”
A critical juncture came in the sixth week of the season when Severna Park faced Broadneck and both teams entered the match undefeated at 5-0, the driver’s seat for the league title at stake.
Severna Park went down to Broadneck 1-0, but the Lads roared back for an emphatic 5-1 victory against the rivals they will continue to compete against in the years to come.
Gardner was named the team’s Most Valuable Player, while Wintermyer earned the title of Most Improved Player Award and DiMauro received the Team Dedication Award.
The Lads will play the upcoming fall season in the even more competitive Central Maryland Short-Sided League.
Coach Grow believes the precocious team-centric character the Green Hornets displayed in the spring will continue to serve them well this fall and beyond.
“They all adopted that team mentality,” said Grow. “There was no question on the field as to what their roles and responsibilities were. They really just got it. For kids that young, it was really amazing to watch.”