The Linden middle school boys soccer team was honored last week by the Board of Education for finishing its season undefeated.
The team, made up of boys from McManus and Soehl middle schools and coached by William Degnan, finished 12-0-1, outscoring their opponents 56-13 over the season, with goals by 14 different boys.
“The Linden athletics family is extremely proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our middle school boys soccer team,” said Athletic Director Steven Viana. “Under the direction of veteran head coach William Degnan, the boys navigated through a tough schedule and pulled out some incredible wins. For a team to experience an undefeated season at the middle school is an absolutely tremendous feat. Middle school teams don’t have the benefit of playing or training together in the offseason, the boys come together in late August and before playing their first game on September 13 developed a team chemistry that propelled them to an amazing season.
“We congratulate the student athletes and staff for creating memories that will last a lifetime.”
As incredible of an achievement as their record is, it was their sportsmanship that stood out even more: No one on the team got a single yellow card – which are given for fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct.
“At all the games, we have referees,” Degnan said at the board meeting. “And referees are supposed to be quiet and just judge the game. But all of them made a point in coming up and talking about how impressed they were with how well we played the game. Not just winning, but their attitude.”
“They are truly a testament to everybody in this room,” he said to a room full of parents. “It’s something to really be proud of.”
Another testament to the team came when goalkeeper Matt Remelgado was hurt and missed two games. Three different players stepped up to fill in even though they were not goalies. Both games were wins.
“The future of soccer in Linden is in good hands,” Superintendent Danny Robertozzi told the team.