This version has been corrected from the one that ran in print.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Grapevine Faith boys soccer team took home the top prize in the state, winning the TAPPS Division II state championship earlier this month by a score of 2-1 over Houston Awty International school.
This is the second straight season that Faith defeated Houston Awty International school in the finals, and coach Matt McKinney said it was a phenomenal effort from his team.
“They performed great,” McKinney said. “That's the reason we play the whole season, is to get to that point and to show our talent and what we have been working on all year. We performed at the level we needed to perform to get the win.
“We knew it was going to be a battle going in. We knew we had a target on our back in every game this year, and every game we got the best from our opponent.”
The Lions wrapped up the season with a 20-0-2 overall record and last lost a game in a public school tournament early last season.
“I am completely satisfied,” McKinney said. “We had several goals going into this season. One, of course, was to win another championship, but throughout the rest of the season, we had smaller goals, one of which was to compete in a public school, 5A tournament. We did that and beat some of the top 5A public schools in the state. I think that shows that even though we are a TAPPS Division II team, we can can compete against and beat some of the top teams in the state.”
With five state championships in the last seven years, McKinney said expectations for the Lions boys soccer programs are exceedingly high.
“That's the positives and negatives that come with it,” McKinney said. “Those expectations can weigh heavily on people. That was our biggest challenge this year. Expectations are high, we knew what we were capable of, and just getting the best from every team that we were playing day in and day out and having to fight through it.”
Faith had four players selected to the state all-tournament team, including seniors Conor Langenbahn, Dylan Ingle, Dan Hancock and and sophomore Brendan Massie. Langenbahn has signed to play college soccer at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
McKinney said he hopes his team takes away a couple of things from this season.
“I think the biggest thing I would like for them to take away is just knowing what perseverance, hard work and dedication can do for you,” McKinney said. “That's what it took to win a state championship. We knew what we were capable of, and we knew the expectations, and we worked hard to achieve those, and we did.”
Faith will lose 14 players to graduation this season, but has a small corps of solid players returning, along with a Junior Varsity team that went undefeated in their district moving up.