BRYC Thunder, a team primarily composed of fifteen year old boys, opened their season with eight consecutive losses against more experienced squads, all but one of them to teams with a winning record. Not until the final game of the regular season , in which they would once again face an experienced, older team, did things click. The Thunder rolled to a surprising 4-1 win.
The SFL Tournament came next. To win their division, the boys needed to outscore their opponents in three more games in succession. And so they did! Taking on Great Falls, Manassas and the top-seeded team from McLean, the Thunder took leads in all three contests and then held off their hard-charging opponents. From the very bottom of the SFL pack, the Thunder had won their division SFL Tournament Championship!
For a more complete story on how they did it, written by a very proud Coach Sarratt, click "continue" below.
BRYC Thunder, led by by veteran coach Scott Sarratt, was primarily composed of fifteen year old boys. A little less than half of the players were new to the team. Since there is no U15 age group, they were placed in the SFL's (Suburban Friendship League's) U16 Boys Division. Their opening game of the season was against an experienced team of sixteen year olds. The team played hard but came up one goal short. After that opening game, the BRYC Thunder only played one other team with a losing record. In fact they had one of the toughest schedules in all of SFL. At one point, they played, and lost to, three of the top four teams in the division and two others in the top fifteen – out of forty-eight teams total. Nevertheless, the boys never gave up. Going into their last match, they would once again face an experienced, older team. This time things clicked and the Thunder rolled to a very surprising 4-1 win.
The SFL Tournament came next. The Thunder was placed in a division with five other teams that had struggled for wins during the regular season. To win the tournament, the boys needed to win three more games in succession. In their opening game of the tournament they faced a charged-up team from Great Falls. The Thunder scored first, but Great Falls put the ball in the back of the net to tie the score 1-1 at the half. The second half was hard fought, but it was the Thunder who scored to win 2-1 and advance.
Next up was a team from Manassas that had a bye in the opening round. It was the Thunder’s second game of the day. Ironically, Manassas was also the team that knocked them out of the post-season tournament in the fall. Once again, the Thunder rolled to an early lead, but a defensive mistake in the last minute of the first half allowed Manassas to score and narrow the gap to one goal. In the second half, the Thunder added two more goals to win 4-1. The Manassas coach congratulated the Thunder and said he hoped they would win it all.
Sunday afternoon was the championship game versus the top seeded team from McLean. Once again the Thunder scored early, but McLean matched the goal just one minute later. Both teams played hard, but it was the Thunder who put the go ahead goal into the back of the net towards the end of the first half. The second half was tough. McLean pressed hard, but the Thunder held off the attack and finally scored an insurance goal. The Thunder had won the SFL Tournament Championship!!!!!
Overall the Thunder went zero and eight in their first eight games and then closed out the season with four wins. Even during the long losing streak, the boys on the Thunder never gave up. Win or lose they were CHAMPIONS in the eyes of Coach Scott.