Posing as a team during the High Desert Soccer Conference tournament is the 2014 Cut-throat boys’ soccer team. Front row, from left, Charlie Stumph, Briggs Whorton, John Black-burn, goalkeeper Willis San-chez-duPont, Dehner Figge, Keegan Whitelaw and Jake Whitlock. Back row, from left, head coach Richard Whitelaw, Jackson Dies, Tanner Josey, Alex Schwartz, Trenor Gould, Henry Everitt, Jack Swanson, Jay Fitzgerald, Roger Figge, Tom Gillespie, Garrett Rawl-ings and coach Craig Maxwell.
Express photo by Willy Cook
It’s always tough bouncing back from a devastating loss in the crapshoot known as the State 3A soccer tournament, but the Community School Cutthroats did it pretty well during last weekend’s season-ending meet in Twin Falls.
Coach Richard Whitelaw’s Cutthroats, shooting squarely for a state championship with a hard-won High Desert Soccer Conference title over Wendell in their hip pocket, were stunned by Teton 2-1 in Thursday’s first-round match-up.
The heartbreaking loss at SunWay Soccer Complex ended the eight-game Cutthroat win streak during which they had outscored opponents 40-1. Junior Alex Schwartz managed the only Cutthroat goal.
It meant that the best the Sun Valley boys could achieve would be two consolation bracket wins—not the state title they had targeted before the eight-school tourney.
And that’s what they did, the hard-working Cutthroat defense spinning 160 minutes of shutout soccer Friday and Saturday for 2-0 triumphs over Fruitland’s Grizzlies (8-12-1) and Bonners Ferry (12-7-1).
Senior goalkeeper Willis Sanchez-duPont finished an outstanding season with 13 shutouts. The Cutthroats also brought home the Idaho High School Activities Association 3A Sportsmanship Trophy along with a consolation title.
The Cutthroats (16-4-1) have now won the State 3A consolation trophy in four of their last five state appearances. It was the Sun Valley school’s 26th state tournament trip.
Friday’s bounce-back game was a 2-0 win over Fruitland on goals by junior Jay Fitzgerald and sophomore Johnny Blackburn, both in the first half.
Fitzgerald (34 goals), held scoreless for two straight games, took a through pass from senior Roger Figge and beat Fruitland senior goalkeeper Luke Tesnohlidek (10 saves) eight minutes into the loser-out game.
After Fitzgerald hit the crossbar at 15 minutes, he sent Blackburn in alone for the second goal at 28 minutes on a play started in the midfield by “Man of the Match” Jack Swanson, the sturdy Cutthroat senior sweeper.
Saturday’s “Man of the Match” in the 2-0 win over Bonners Ferry was junior midfielder Dehner Figge. Top scorers Fitzgerald and Blackburn came through on offense again.
The Wendell Trojans (15-1-3), coming off their come-from-behind 5-5 (4-3 kicks) semi-final miracle over highly-regarded Weiser on Friday, cruised past Sugar-Salem (18-1-1) by a 3-1 score in Saturday’s championship game.
Wendell also won state in 2010. That meant that with Gooding’s back-to-back state triumphs in 2012-13 along with Gooding’s 2009 state win, the competitive High Desert Soccer Conference has now won state five times in six years. Weiser (17-3-1) settled for third place 4-1 over Teton (9-7-2).
Swanson, Roger Figge, Trenor Gould and Sanchez-duPont were the Cutthroat representatives to the All-Star Senior Soccer game Tuesday, Oct. 28 in Wendell.
The Cutthroat soccer banquet is Sunday, Nov. 9 at Elkhorn Restaurant.
· Final team statistics: Community School 16-4-1 (9-1-0 home, 7-3-1 away, 9-1-0 league for #1 seed, 1st place in HDSC tournament, State 3A tournament consolation champion) with 13 shutouts in 21 games. Goals scored: 102 (4.9 per game). Goals conceded: 14 (0.7). Individual scoring: Jay Fitzgerald 34 (6 hat tricks, score in 18 of 21 games, 64 career goals), Johnny Blackburn 13 (22 career goals), Alex Schwartz 10, Tanner Josey 8, Keegan Whitelaw 7, Dehner Figge 6, Roger Figge 4, Tom Gillespie 3, Charlie Stumph 3, Briggs Whorton 3, Henry Everitt 2, Jack Swanson 1, Jackson Dies 1, Payton Anderson 1, Alex Feldman 1, Gavin Blair 1, James Everitt 1, own goals 3.