The last time the Rosewood boys’ soccer team won a conference title was in 2002.
Since 2002, the Eagles have accomplished many things on the soccer pitch, but they could not win a conference title.
However, this year’s team was determined to break the Eagles’ long conference title drought. And led by three seniors – Benjamin Peacock, Ty Rouse and Gavin Davis – the Eagles finished the season with an 18-0-2 overall record, beat Hobbton for the first time since 2015, and won a conference title for the first time since 2002.
“All three of us went into this season saying ‘we better go out with a bang and win a conference title,’ and we did it, and it feels great,” Rouse said.
“Everybody else tried so hard and got so close, but could never do it, so it to finally do it, it’s like we did for everybody,” Davis added.
Last season, with only two seniors on the roster, the Eagles advanced to the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A playoffs.
So, heading into this season, Rosewood head coach Eddie Maldonado knew this year’s team had a chance to be good. Maldonado credited assistant coach Daniel Mitchell, the Eagles’ talent, and the three seniors as crucial reasons for the Eagles’ success.
“It’s not just talent. All of us are close-knit friends,” Peacock said. “Before and after the game, we yell out ‘family,’ and that shows how close we are as a family. We play as a family.”
The Eagles showed their potential two games into the season when they defeated perennial powerhouse Clinton 2-1.
From there, the Eagles continued to rack up wins, but on Sept. 20, the Eagles faced off against Hobbton.
The Wildcats had been the thorn in the Eagles’ side for years. In the first matchup, the teams played to a draw. But in their past two games, the Eagles have outscored the Wildcats 13-0
“We’ve been so close multiple times, but we could never squeak out that one win that put us ahead of them,” Peacock said. “So, to finally beat not them once but twice that was one of the best feelings I’ve had in a while.”
The Eagles recognized the significance of winning a conference title for the first time in 19 years. There is a board in the Rosewood gymnasium that lists the conference titles in every sport, and this year’s team was determined to put 2021 next to 2002.
“Forever, we have that seen men’s soccer 02, and it’s so annoying,” Rouse said. “We wanted to put a 21 up there.”
The Eagles are now looking toward making another long playoff run, and hopefully, creating even more history. Rosewood opens the playoffs on Monday against Lejeune.
“This season is not nearly done. We still have a lot to get done, and we have a long ways to go,” Davis said.