Congratulations are in order for the Sutton Middle School boys soccer team, which captured the city championship last week in winning the Metro Atlanta Athletics Conference. Head coach Jacob Bland, who also is the head coach of the the North Atlanta High boys varsity team, was extremely proud of a team that finished the season with a 9-1 record.
Interestingly, the only loss came against the Atlanta International School 5-4. They got their revenge, though, in the championship game with a 2-0 win.
“As the season progressed, the boys became more of a team, outscoring opponents 29-6,” said Bland, who just completed his fourth season as head coach. “Sutton’s large Hispanic community contributed to the majority of the team, with an ecletic mix of other nationalities.”
Many of the players will continue on to North Atlanta High School to continue playing for Bland. He was particularly proud of this year’s team, as he noted in a recent interview:
We had immediate success when I entered the program. We’ve been to the championship every year, winning it last year as well, so its a bit of a dynasty. I’m very proud of the boys as I’ve seen them mature every year. The sixth-graders are not allowed to play sports at Sutton, so the team consisted of only seventh- and eighth-graders. I remember the sixth-graders a few years back being so anxious to get out and play, and their day finally came. The two goals were scored by seventh-graders, which is also a good sign of what is to come.
Coming into the season, I didn’t think that we were going to be the best team to pass through Sutton, but the boys really changed my mind. With hard work ethic, and good performance in school, they taught me as much as I taught them. We practiced five days a week for two months to prepare and really showed dividends.
There’s an awesome little video clip of the championship game posted on Sutton’s Web site, which you can view here.