How sweet it is.
After coaching junior varsity soccer for four years, Shaun Summerscales became the head coach of the Blue Devils boys varsity soccer team this season. The team ended the regular season undefeated with 14 wins and 3 ties. Then they went on to win the Battlefield District tournament championship game on May 22 at King George against Chancellor High School, 3-0.
Ironically, Summerscales, who teaches history at Culpeper Middle School, added to the history of Culpeper County High School by taking the school’s varsity soccer team to a regional quarterfinal game Tuesday evening â certainly a feat that has not been remembered in decades, if ever.
And to make it just that much sweeter, they won with a 5-0 shutout.
They went into the game glowing and confident.
Summerscales was named Coach of the Year in the Battlefield District and 10 of his players earned all-district recognition. Players are selected by coaches in the district.
First team honors went to Mack Elliot, Tanyon Lee, Clay Metcalf, and Cody Ruble.
Second team players named were
Justin Gillispie, Thomas Foster, Gaston Carrasco and Josh Smith.
Taking home honorable mention selections were Levi Mattison and Kyle Olinger.
Tuesday night’s win advances the Blue Devils to a regional semifinal game Thursday against Grafton High School which beat out Chancellor. The game, while hosted by CCHS, will be played at Liberty High School in Bealeton starting at 7 p.m.
Preparations for Culpeper’s graduation this Saturday on Broman Field precluded the game being held there.
âWe wanted it here,â said Summerscales, âbut Liberty was gracious in allowing us to play there.â
Thunderstorms had swept through the area earlier Tuesday evening leaving the air at Broman Field misty and the field slippery.
First half play was interrupted only nine minutes in with a half hour delay due to lightning in the distance. The field and stands were quickly emptied leaving only the lingering fragrance of honeysuckle â perhaps a sweet omen of the success yet to come.
The Blue Devils exhibited mastery over the younger Prince Edward County Eagles team controlling the ball well, keeping their passes crisp and calm and their touches light.
However, they missed several opportunities to score. Gillispie, Esteban Chavez (10) and Foster all had strong shots on â some hitting the bar, others overshooting the net or many stopped by the Eagles goalie, junior Andrew Stringfellow.
Then, with a little less than 13 minutes left in the first half, Elliot, one of the team’s captains, found net as the Blue Devils captured the first goal of the evening to the cheers of their families and friends.
Coming in with about 14 minutes left in the first half, junior Billy Shaffer had a nice run down the field as did Carrasco who had the crowd holding its collective breath as he nearly scored a goal at the two-minute mark. Shaffer’s entrance fueled a rather flat first half performance pumping up his comrades. Elliot attempted a couple more shots before the first half ended at 1-0 for the Blue Devils.
Second half play had the Blue Devils on fire with Foster landing a hard shot followed within minutes by Elliot’s second goal of the evening.
Now, at 3-0 and with about 16 minutes left in the game, the Blue Devil’s fan base was elated as the win seemed clearly theirs. The Eagles, while holding their own in the first half, were wearing down. One of their stronger players, sophomore Bryce Deitrich was out of the game with a yellow card.
Finding net for his second goal and taking the score to 4-0, Foster scored from mid-field.
Clinching goal number five was Metcalf off a corner from Foster.
Summerscales was obviously pleased along with assistant coach Scott Green.
âWe’ve got a very talented group of young men,â said Summerscales. âWhat’s more important…they have a whole lot of character.â
And the fans. âYes,â smiled Summercales, âI’m glad that so many came outâ¦we have very supportive parents.â
A win Thursday against Grafton would take the Blue Devils closer to a Group AA state playoff.