Four BRYC teams, two each at the U16 and U19 levels, can proudly lay claim to two regular season Suburban Friendship League (SFL) championships and two tournament championships, in one of BRYC’s better SFL seasons in recent memory.
Because most area soccer clubs don’t have enough players at the older age levels to create a season schedule independently, some 30 area clubs play their regular season games in the SFL. Teams are grouped into two divisions, based on their record the previous season. (At the U16 level there were 23 teams placed in Division I, including one from BRYC, and over 50 teams placed in Division II, including three from BRYC. At the U19 level both BRYC teams played in Division II.) The teams play a regular-season schedule of seven games before being placed into smaller groups of teams with similar season records for the two-day SFL tournament, held on June 11-12.
Congratulations to Coach Mitch Peyser’s U16 Boys, who finished the season with a gaudy record of 7-0-0m and the SFL Division II regular season championship, before being knocked off in the tournament in a couple of very close and hard-fought games which pitted the top five of the fifty teams in the division. Coach Peyser said "the boys earned it by working hard all season both at the games at at their physical conditioning. Every one of the boys contributed to the success. It was an exciting season with some close calls, and thrilling in the end to see the boys do so well."
Congratulations to Coach Ricky Ramirez’ U16 Boys for turning their season around after a disastrous start at 0-4 with three regular season victories to end league play, and another three wins in the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a margin of 27-6 over the last six games (allowing exactly one goal in each of them), and earning their SFL tournament championship. That’s some great momentum going into the FPYC Tournament where Coach Ramirez will be taking the best players from each of the four U16 Boys teams, albeit with almost no time to practice as a group.
Meanwhile, there was a similar situation with the U19 Boys where Coach John Kelleher’s team, the "Strykers", won the SFL Division II regular season championship with a sterling record of 6-0-1. The only "blemish" on the Strykers’ perfect record was a 0-0 tie with McLean in the second game of the season, as the team played two-men down and the game was shortened by rain. Coach Kelleher viewed that as a moral victory under the circumstances, and the team came back to win its final five games, outscoring its opponents 28-9 over the course of the season.
Unfortunately, after winning its first game of the SFL tournament (scoring very late in the game to break a 1-1-tie vs. Southwestern) on Saturday morning, the team narrowly lost its afternoon game against Annandale (ABGC) by a score of 0-1, followed by a loss to another strong Annandale team in the final game of the tournament. It was a sad way to end the season for the storied Strykers, but it was a great season overall and one in which the coach and his team can take great pride.
Meanwhile, Coach Bob Heyer’s team, the "Magic", which had a "so-so" record of 3-3-1 in the SFL’s regular season, turned up the heat in the SFL tournament and roared through three games with a record of 3-0, finding the "magic" and outscoring opponents by a margin of 10-3, including shutout victories over Springfield and McLean. As he does for each of his team’s games, Coach Heyer summarized their play in an email, noting the team’s weaknesses and places for improvement, but filled with plaudits for "forcing the style of play,", "nice passing and ball movement", "disciplined play", and "a lot of effort by everyone!". Also as he does at each game, the coach got a team photo..with the boys (who will represent BRYC in the FPYC tourney) already wearing their All Star stripes.
But even better than the team photo is the family photo...an amazing show of support for a U19 squad where most of the boys drive themselves to practices and games. So congratulations to the parents and siblings as well as the coach and his team for a great end to the SFL season...and good luck in the FPYC tournament.
(All the photos in this story are linked to larger versions. Just click on the photo.)