GEORGETOWN – No one was better than Boerne in the Class 4A ranks this season.
The Greyhound boys capped a remarkable 2021 campaign with a dominant 3-1 victory over Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis in the UIL Class 4A State championship game Saturday afternoon at Birkelbach in Georgetown. This is Boerne soccer’s first state title since 2006.
“It’s beyond words right now,” junior midfielder Sam Theiss said. “Freshman year we got knocked out in the playoffs, and it’s amazing that we were able to get this far. We took the opportunity today and it’s an amazing feeling.”
Boerne opened the scoring during the 12th minute of play. Off a corner kick, the ball ricocheted back out to Brett Hettie who chipped it back into the box, and sophomore midfielder Jess Gonzales buried it in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Fellow sophomore Noah LeMaster came up with some huge stops over the next 28 minutes to ensure that would be the halftime score.
It didn’t take long for the Greyhounds to assert themselves in the second half. Roughly ten minutes in, the Eagles attempted to clear, but the ball landed right on the foot of Landon Murphy and the junior forward bounced it over the keeper and in for a 2-0 lead. A few minutes later, Murphy would make it 3-0 on a corner kick that deflected in front. That goal was credited to sophomore Joe Ballenger. For his contributions on the offensive end, Murphy was awarded tournament MVP. Diamond-Hill did get on the board late in the second half, but it was too little, too late.
STATE CHAMPS! Here's some of the sights and sounds from a memorable day for @Boerne_Soccer at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, as the Greyhounds take home the #UILState title! #KSATsports @BoerneISD @LeechStan @Boernehs pic.twitter.com/WKpkjurwai— Andrew Cely (@ACelySports) April 17, 2021
“At halftime, we knew we needed to get another goal,” senior defender Scott Hettie recalled. “We thought they would crack under pressure, and that’s exactly what happened. Guys came out, had their heads on fire, we tucked one in and that gave us a sense of relief. From there, I think we really controlled the second half.”
“I thought our defense was phenomenal,” head coach Michael Strong explained. “We were winning first and second balls all over the place, midfielders were doing their job, and then our attacking players were getting involved in the attack and being dangerous. What more could you ask for in a state final game?”
As the players were awarded their medals and the championship plaque, the stands erupted in celebration. An enormous contingent of Boerne fans made the trip up north to see the victory first hand, and the team appreciated their energy throughout the match.
“It’s been awesome,” Murphy said. “This is the most fans we’ve ever had at a soccer game. We were fighting to get a fan bus to come up here, and the community actually paid for it because it was going to cost students money to come up, so we thank the community hugely for that.”
The Greyhounds finished the season with a 21-1-1 overall record.