Cumberland County High School history was made Friday night on the campus of Stone Memorial High School, where the Jet boys soccer team captured their first district championship in program history by defeating Livingston Academy 3-1.
“We’ve never done this before,” said CCHS coach Cub Whitson after the game. “These guys have worked their tails off all season to get to this point.”
The tournament championship comes after an undefeated regular season run through District 6AA for the Jets.
“I’m very proud of this team,” said Jet senior Jose Castañeda. “We’ve been working so long for this, and we finally accomplished what we were working for.
“They’re really physical,” said Castañeda on Livingston. “We had to play rough like them. Their physicality is good.”
A strong start is vital in soccer, and the Jets had just that as they scored their first goal less than 40 seconds into the contest via Drew Davidson tapping in a shot in front of the net.
“We scored on the first possession of the game,” said Whitson. “It was a beautiful thing to watch.”
The 1-0 lead grew to 2-0 with 6:36 remaining until halftime when Aiden Zeino sent in a corner kick perfectly to the top of the 18, where Castañeda awaited and delivered a powerful strike past the keeper for the game’s second goal.
“That’s highlight-reel right there,” added Whitson. “One touch, upper 90, and that kid works every day after practice.”
Cumberland County’s lead expanded to 3-0 just before the half as Drew Davidson scored via penalty kick.
Elijah Tollett and the Jet defenders were able to keep Livingston Academty scoreless until the 44-seconds remaining mark of the second half, when the Wildcats snuck a final goal in to avoid the shutout, giving Cumberland County the 3-1 district championship victory.
“Livingston has a dangerous front line,” added Whitson. “We did a great job adjusting, and came out and executed.”
Though the Jets made history with their win, they have bigger plans in mind and are looking to improve on their play for the region tournament
“We’re not satisfied with the results of this game,” said Nick Davidson. “We did better the last two times against this team, and I know we could’ve done better. I’m excited but want to do better.”
Cumberland County will host Kingston on Tuesday at Duer Soccer Complex in the Region 3AA semifinals.
“First we get some rest,” said Castañeda. “Then have a good practice Monday and get ready for Tuesday.”
Loudon will host Livingston Academy in the other semifinal game.