The Harrison Goblins are going to experience the state championship in soccer this season.
On Saturday, the Goblins will be facing Valley View in the finals of the Class 4A State Soccer Tournament. This is the first time that the Goblins have been in the championship game since 2013.
The team will be ready for the contest because of the intangible assets that they bring to the pitch every day.
“The heart of this team is chemistry,” said senior forward Hunter Holtby. “We have been playing together for so long.”
Kaden Jones sees the competitiveness of the team.
“Everyone on this team wants to win and will do whatever it takes,” he said.
Logan Walden pinpointed what he felt was the strength of the team this year.
“Our biggest strength is our determination,” he said. “We always leave it all on the field no matter what stands in our way.”
The Blazers will bring a solid team into the game.
“Valley View subs a lot of guys in and out, so they always have fresh legs,” said mid-fielder Jacob Shrum. “They have about seven reserves that they use. This many benefit them because the field is so wide and will require a lot of running.”
Hunter Thompson sees quality Blazer play as a strength.
“The opponents are very skilled and aggressive,” he said. “But it isn’t anything we can’t handle.”
The Goblin defense will have to be ready for Valley View.
“Judging by the film we’ve watched, I fully expect a good game out of No. 7 (Jesus Mendoza), said Caleb Bartlett. “He is one of their key players.”
Fellow fullback Isaac Guynn expects a rapid game.
“I expect them to throw a fast and aggressive offense at us,” said Guynn.
Shrum points to what he thinks will be the key to winning the contest.
“Our key to winning Saturday is just wanting it more,” he said. “When the game is over, we have to leave every ounce of energy on that field.”
The Blazer defense has been stingy in the state tournament. Harrison will have to work hard to put balls in the net.
“One of the best ways to beat Valley View’s defense is to build from the midfield,” said Holtby. “We have to try to split the gaps and have on angles.”
Jones will take a “as the game is being played approach.”
“We want to win more then them, so we will find a way,” he said. “We always do.”
Being prepared for the championship game is something that the Goblins have worked for.
“I am prepared for the championship,” said Guynn. “After fighting through three long games, it has boosted my confidence.”
The team has grown close over the years and this will be a good way to cap the season.
“Our team is extremely close,” said Bartlett. “I mean we literally grew up together. We’ve been playing soccer as a team since we were seven.”
Thompson feels that the team is tight.
“This team is very close,” he said. “We have played together since were have been four- or five-years old and are all like brothers.”
Walden expressed what a championship would mean to the team.
“A championship would mean a fulfillment of a lifelong dream of the team and mine,” he said.
Team members include: Hunter Holtby; Corbin Simpson; Kaden Jones; Jacob Shrum; Rilee Jones; Hunter Thompson; Max Payne; Spencer Bailey; Dylan Wilson; Logan Walden; Seabastian Diffey; Caleb Bartlett; Brock Bardwell; Harris Groberg; Connor Phillips; Isaac Guynn; Will Bryant; Huntly Wagner; Jackob Wardlaw; and Gaitlin James. The head coach is Chris Pratt and the assistant coach is Evan Cowling. Team managers are Devon Mitchell and Sebastian Lopez.